Original Christianity Review



RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THE FATHER


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How many Religions did GOD establish through the Bible???  Most people would answer TWO: Judaism out of the O.T. and Christianity out of the N.T.  But is GOD schizophrenic?

Does it make sense that YAHWEH would raise up 2 conflicting Religions out of the same book and call it all TRUTH?  The TRUTH is – the word RELIGION in the Bible – is always in the singular form!

Concerning the Apostle Paul, the Roman Governor Festus told King Agrippa, “When the accusers (Jewish Leaders) stood up, they brought no accusation against him (Paul) of such things as I supposed – but had some questions against him about THEIR OWN RELIGION and a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.” (ACTS 25:18,19)

The ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS did not see themselves or Jesus as founding a New Religion – nor did the Jews of that day see followers of Jesus as starting a new Religion – but rather another Sect of Judaism.

RELIGION: “A fundamental set of beliefs & practices agreed upon by a number of persons or Sects.”

According to the book of ACTS – YAHWEH’S ONE RELIGION contained the Sect of the Sadducees (ACTS 5:17), the Sect of the Pharisees (ACTS 15:5), the Sect of the Nazarenes (Church) (ACTS 24:5).

Paul said about the Jewish Leaders of his day, “But this I confess to you, that according to THE WAY which they call a SECT, so I worship the GOD of my fathers, believing all things which are written in THE LAW & THE PROPHETS.” (ACTS 24:14)

ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS including the Apostles, worshiped the same GOD (YAHWEH) as the Jews, lived by the same RULES as the Jews, and practiced many of the same RITUALS as the Jews.  The primary difference between Judaism & Christianity at that time was that Christians embraced Jesus as the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, and Christians rejected the additions of the Talmud (Jewish Oral Commentary on THE LAW) to parity with Scripture.   

Down through the centuries, unfortunately, Christians have been taught by their Leaders to look down upon Jews, to blame them for Christ’s crucifixtion (when in fact every Human Being is culpable), and that Christians have REPLACED Jews as GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE!  Replacement Theology or Supersessionism, born of Anti-Semitism, began to be taught less than a century after Christ’s death!

“Therefore this work of wrath is proof that the Jews, surely rejected by YHVH, are no longer HIS people & neither is HE any longer their YHVH.” (Martin Luther, ‘On the Jews & their lies’)

Through “… His death, Jesus made void the Law with its decrees and fastened the hand-writing of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole Human Race.” (Pope Pius XII, 1943, in his Mystici Corporis Christi Encyclical)   

Some form of this REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY must have been taught even in the Apostle Paul’s day, because he wrote: “…has GOD cast away HIS People (Israel)?  CERTAINLY NOT!  For I also am an Israelite… GOD has not cast away HIS People whom HE foreknew…for I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that Blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (ROM. 11:1,2,25; 16-18)

2 WOMEN described in REVELATION 12 & 17, symbolize 2 WORLD RELIGIONS at odds with one another in the days leading up to the return of Christ.  Notice in chapter 12 that ONE WOMAN symbolizes both ISRAEL (REV.12:1-6) and THE CHURCH (REV.12:17)   

ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY was the combined teaching & practice of BOTH TESTAMENTS!

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Paul compared the Christian walk to Sports, writing: “If anyone competes in Athletics -HE IS NOT CROWNED -unless he competes according to THE RULES.”(II TIMOTHY 2:5)

Every Sport, Business, Household & Society has a set of RULES they operate by - and so does every RELIGION. The difference between CHRISTIANITY and other Religions however, is that BIBLICAL RULES are NOT THE MEANS to SALVATION, and ETERNAL LIFE:

“For if there had been a Law given which could have given LIFE, truly righteousness would have been by THE LAW. But the Scripture has confined all under Sin,that the promise (of Eternal Life) by faith in Jesus Christ – might be given to those who believe.” (GAL.3:21,22)

As Paul also writes, “For the wages of SIN is DEATH, but the GIFT of GOD is ETERNAL LIFE in CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.” (ROMANS 6:23)

Does this mean that ‘faith in Christ’ does away with any need for RULES in CHRISTIANITY?

Paul asked & answered this question: “Do we then make VOID THE LAW through FAITH? CERTAINLY NOT! On the contrary, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW.” (ROMANS 3:31)

Jesus said, “DO NOT THINK THAT I CAME TO DESTROY THE LAW or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill (Gk. Pleroo ‘to make full’ or ‘cause to abound’). For assuredly I say to you, TILL HEAVEN or EARTH PASS AWAY, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from THE LAW till all is fulfilled (Gk. Ginomai ‘be brought to pass’). Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these COMMANDMENTS, and teaches men so, shall be called LEAST in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called GREAT in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (MT.5:17-19)

Few realize there are 613 RULES in TORAH and 1050 RULES in THE NEW TESTAMENT.

So is YAHWEH a control freak who wants to legislate every facet of our lives? Or is HE a concerned PARENT, who like all of us, gives HIS children RULES that bring ORDER to our HOUSEHOLDS, and SHOW US HOW TO MOVE CONSTRUCTIVELY in RELATION TO ONE ANOTHER?

King David wrote: “Great Peace have those who LOVE YOUR LAW, and nothing causes them to STUMBLE.” (PSALM 119:165) Kids STUMBLE when they break our Household Rules &so does everyonewhen we break GOD’S RULES: “He who despises the word will be DESTROYED, but he who fears the commandment will be REWARDED. The LAW OF THE WISE is a Fountain of Life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” (PROVERBS 13:13,14)

Paul put it all into perspective when he wrote: “For by GRACE you have been SAVED through FAITH – and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS, which GOD prepared beforehand (Torah Rules), that we should walk in them.” (EPH. 2:8-10)

Why then do most Christian Denominations teach that THE LAW was ABOLISHED and NAILED to the Cross of Christ – especially when so many O.T. Commandments are re-stated in the N.T.?

The Apostle Peter gives us the answer. He wrote about Paul’s Epistles, “in which are some things hard tounderstand – which untaught & unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the restof the Scriptures.” (II PETER 3:16) Paul was a Lawyer and we all know how difficult Legal-Speak can be to interpret. Yet most Theologians and Church Leaders focus on a few obscure texts in Paul’s writings to push the erroneous conclusion that Jesus abolished His Father’s Law at the Cross.

For He Himself (Jesus) is our peace, who has made both (Jew & Gentile) one, and has broken downthe middle wall of separation. Man-made wall in the Temple Grounds – literally separating Gentile converts from Jews: 1871 Archaeologists found a Temple Pillar with this inscription: ‘No man of another Nation is to enter within the Fence and Enclosure around the Temple – and whoever is caught will have himself to blame that his death ensues’) having ABOLISHED in His flesh the enmity (conflict), that is, THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS CONTAINED IN ORDINANCES, so as to create in Himselfone new man from the two (Jew & Gentile), thus making peace.” (EPHESIANS 2:13,14 NKJV)

The ‘wall of separation’ on the Temple Grounds was a Human Ordinance added by the Jews, which transgressed GOD’S LAW against PARTIALITY (DEUTERONOMY 16:19). Jesus condemned such ‘commandments of men’ as working against GOD’S LAW of RIGHT RELATIONSHIPS. (MT.15:3-9)

“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the circumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that wasagainst us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to theCross.” (COL. 2:13,14 NKJV) Many erroneously conclude that Paul’s phrase, ‘handwriting of requirements’ is referring to O.T. Laws, and that they were nailed to the Cross. But the Greek words involved are more accurately translated: “having canceled the Charge of our Legal Indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the Cross. (N.I.V.) Paul also wrote the “the wages of Sin is death, but the Gift of GOD is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ROMANS 6’23) It is the Legal Debt of our Sins that is nailed to the Cross of Christ.

Most Christian Denominations interpret the ACTS 15 CONFERENCE as an official statement by the Original Church doing away with GOD’S LAW. But a careful read reveals that the Issue under discussionwas WHAT THE INITIAL REQUIREMENTS SHOULD BE UPON A GENTILE CONVERT:

“Certain men came down from Judaea & taught the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses (LEV.12:3), you cannot be saved.” (ACTS 15:1) Vs. 5 adds that “…some of the Sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up saying, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep The Law of Moses.’”

So the Apostle Peter stands up at the Gathering of the Elders in Jerusalem (15:6-11) and tells the Assembly about his experiences with new Gentile Converts receiving the Holy Spirit – without circumcision or instruction in Torah – arguing that it is ‘through the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved.” (!5:11)

Paul & Barnabas declare GOD’S saving work among uncircumcised Gentiles (15:12), while James quotes the Prophets who forecast the Conversion of Gentiles (15:13-17) (Amos 9:11,12)

(15:19-21) Finally James gives the Judgment that the only part of Torah which should be initially required of Gentile Converts – are 4 Common Gentile Practices – which if continued, would result in them being BANNED from entering Synagogues (meeting place of Original Christians) for further instruction in the Law of Moses. These 4 Pagan Temple customs were outlawed in Torah (LEVITICUS 17 & 18) – and their continued practice by Gentile Converts would have disqualified them in the eyes of Synagogue Leaders. As the New Testament makes clear, these Gentile Converts would be expected to learn and practice all of GOD’S LAW (which they would be taught in the Synagogue) – not to earn salvation, but to learn how to have right relationships.

The Apostle John wrote: “He who says ‘I knowHim’ (Jesus) and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (I JOHN 2:4)

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The word INTERPRET occurs over 50 times in your Bible in various forms… yet it’s not a word or concept that many Christians spend time understanding or applying: “Who is like a wise man?  And who knows the INTERPRETATION of a thing?  A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the sternness of his face is changed.” (ECCL.8:1 NKJV) 

This isn’t just some platitude – it actually happened with Stephen in the New Testament: “Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue…disputing with Stephen.  And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke… and all who sat in the Council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an Angel.” (ACTS 6:9,10,15)

We all want to understand the Bible – but few are willing to seek understanding as if it were silver or gold: “…If you receive MY words, and treasure MY commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of YAHWEH and FIND THE KNOWLEDGE of GOD.” (PR.2:1-5)

Dwight L. Moody said that if some Bible Teachers “were practicing Law & should try in any Court of Justice to INTERPRET LAWS, as they INTERPRET the Bible, they would be laughed out of Court.”

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Brethren, do not be children in UNDERSTANDING; however in malice be babes, but IN UNDERSTANDING BE MATURE.” (I CORINTHIANS 14:20)

“I (Paul)… do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the GOD of our Lord Jesus Christ, THE FATHER of GLORY, may give to you THE SPIRIT of WISDOM and REVELATION in the knowledge of HIM, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of HIS calling, what are the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the Saints…” (EPHESIANS 1:15-18)

Most of the DOCTRINAL ERRORS of the last 20 Centuries of Christianity – came as a result of NOT FOLLOWING BIBLICAL RULES of INTERPRETATION:

 

  • Be willing to ACT on what you READ in SCRIPTURE: “And we (the Apostles) are HIS witnesses to these things, and so also is THE HOLY SPIRIT whom GOD has given to those who obey HIM.” (ACTS 5:32) “…a GOOD UNDERSTANDING HAVE ALL THOSE WHO DO HIS COMMANDMENTS.” (PS.111:10)

 

  • Do not alter the meaning of Biblical words: “WOE TO THOSE who call Evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” (ISAIAH 5:20) “…for you have PERVERTED the words of THE LIVING GOD, THE LORD of HOSTS our GOD.” (JEREMIAH 23:36)

 

  • Gather all the Biblical Texts on a subject before reaching conclusions: “Whom will HE teach knowledge? And whom will HE make to understand the messageFor precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” (ISA.28:9-13) “Be diligent to present yourself approved to GOD, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD of TRUTH.” (II TIMOTHY 2:15) No one would ever try to INTERPRET a painting of Rafael, Michelangelo, or Rembrandt, by looking at one square inch of it – yet many Christians try to INTERPRET SCRIPTURE by looking at only a few texts.  Have you ever gathered all the Biblical Texts on Worship, God, or Prophecy?

 

  • Don’t take Biblical statements out of the CONTEXT of the rest of Scripture. The Pharisees invoked Moses permission to divorce their wives for any reason, but Jesus drew upon THE BROADER CONTEXT of Scripture, saying: “from the beginning it was not so,” and “what GOD has joined together, let not man separate.” (MT.19:1-9)  Many Christians take Jesus prophetic statement that “THEN two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left,” as proof of a Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Saints.  But read in CONTEXT (MT.24:29-40) – the word THEN is clearly referring to AFTER the Great Tribulation and the Heavenly Signs when the 7th Trumpet sounds & the 1st Resurrection takes place (MT.24:31 w/ I COR.15:51-54)

 

  • CONTEND EARNESTLY for THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE FOR ALL delivered to the Saints.” (JUDE VS. 3)  This RULE of INTERPRETATION is what this Show is based upon.  GOD doesn’t want us to practice 4th  OR 5TH OR 15TH Century Christianity – HE wants us to practice CHRISTIANITY as it was originally given and practiced by Jesus and the Apostles. 

 

  • Do not Add or Subtract from GOD’S WORD: “Whatever I (YAHWEH) command you, be careful to observe it; You shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (DT.12:32) “Do not add to HIS words, lest HE rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” (PR.30:6) “…If anyone adds to these things (Prophecies of the Book of Revelation), GOD will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, GOD shall take away his part from the Book of LIFE…” (REV.22:18-19)

 

  • Let the PLAIN STATEMENT of Scripture INTERPRET the OBSCURE STATEMENT: Jesus said to His Disciples “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up. Then His Disciples said, ‘Lord if he sleeps, he will get well.’  However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.  Then Jesus said to them PLAINLY ‘Lazarus is dead.’” (JN.11:11-14)

 

  • In a multitude of Translations – there is safety in INTERPRETATION: “In a multitude of counselors there is safety.”(PR.24:6) Literal Translations: (KJV) (NASB) attempt to correlate the exact words & phrases of the original language (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) to their English equivalents.  Dynamic Equivalent Translation: (NIV) (REV) attempt to convey the overall thought of the original text in to easy to understand English.  Free or Paraphrase Translation: (TLB) (MSG) attempt to convey the ideas in the text without being constrained by the original words or language.

 

  • Do not infer beyondwhat is written’: “Now these things brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, THAT YOU MAY LEARN IN US – NOT TO THINK BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN…” (I COR.4:6) Hymenaeus & Philetus went beyond what is written on the ‘resurrection’ – teaching that it had already past (II TIM.2:17,18)

 

King David wrote: “How precious also are YOUR THOUGHTS to me, O GOD!  How great is the sum of them!” (PSALM 139:17)

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GOD gave us LAWS, RULES & COMMANDS to show us how to have HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS with our Maker, our Fellow Man, Ourselves & the Earth. HE also gave us Rules of Interpretation…

So what is the most important RULE in your Bible? We don’t have to guess, because one of the Scribes asked Jesus that very question! To which Jesus responded, “The FOREMOST of all the Commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, YAHWEH our GOD, YAHWEH is ONE. And you shall love YAHWEH your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (MARK 12:29,30)

This is one of THE 613 RULES of TORAH (DT.6:4,5) repeated in THE 1050 RULES of the N.T.

Here’s another one of the 1050: “Do not call anyone on earth your FATHER; for ONE is your FATHER HE who is in Heaven.” (MATTHEW 23:9) The Scribes & Pharisees took this title before the masses claiming to be their Paternal Authority in religious matters – to which Jesus is responding - that there is only ONE PATERNAL AUTHORITY over our Faith - OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN

Jesus said in support of THE FATHER’S PATERNAL AUTHORITY:

“For I have not spoken on My Own AUTHORITY; but THE FATHER who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say & what I should speak. I know that HIS command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as THE FATHER has TOLD Me, so I speak. (JN.12:49)

“However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for HE WILL NOT SPEAK ON HIS OWN AUTHORITY, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (JOHN 16:13 NKJV) Both Jesus & the Holy Spirit speak on THE FATHER’S PATERNAL AUTHORITY.

“Father… sanctify them by Your Truth. YOUR WORD is TRUTH.” (JOHN 17:1,17 NKJV)

YAHWEH said: “But the Prophet who PRESUMES TO SPEAK A WORD IN MY NAME, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that Prophet shall die.” (DEUTERONOMY 18:20)

The greatest single SIN committed in Jewish & Christian Hierarchies over the Centuries has been PRESUMING TO SPEAK A WORD IN YAHWEH’S NAME. When such leaders have “added” or “subtracted” from GOD’S WORD (DEUTERONOMY 12:32) they have taken YAHWEH’S PATERNAL AUTHORITY to themselves – something even the Son of GOD did not dare engage in.

When Satan tried to get Jesus to recognize him as paternal authority, Jesus replied: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of GOD.” (MT.4:4)

Christian Theologians & Church Leaders have usurped the role of PATERNAL AUTHORITY from YAHWEH by referring to Jesus as CO-EQUAL with THE FATHER, something Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught against:

Jesus said: “My FATHER is GREATER than I.” (JOHN 14:28) “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear (from THE FATHER) I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but THE WILL of THE FATHER who sent Me.” (JOHN 5:30)

“I am ascending to My FATHER & your FATHER & to My GOD and your GOD.” (JN.20:17)

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My GOD, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My GOD, and the name of the City of My GOD, the new Jerusalem, which comes out of heaven from My GOD.” (REVELATION 3:12)

Paul said: “We give thanks to THE GOD & FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (COL.1:3) The phrase ‘The God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ is found 7 times in the New Testament.

“There is one Body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism; ONE GOD & FATHER of All, WHO is ABOVE All…” (EPH.4:4-6)

“But I want you know that THE HEAD of every Man is Christ, THE HEAD of Woman is Man, and THE HEAD of Christ is GOD.” (I CORINTHIANS 11:3)

As Physical Fathers have Paternal Authority over their Households according to Paul – so YAHWEH has PATERNAL AUTHORITY over our Faith: “Man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of YAHWEH.” (DEUTERONOMY 8:3)

(PSALM 62:11) says, “… POWER BELONGS TO GOD. Also to you O YAHWEH, belongs mercy.”

The Extra-Biblical Doctrine of Jesus and The Holy Spirit being CO-EQUAL with THE FATHER runs contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture that YAHWEH has PATERNAL AUTHORITY over ALL.

YAHWEH alone bears the titles of MOST HIGH & ALMIGHTY in your Bible (LUKE 8:28)

Twice in your Bible YAHWEH asks the question: “To whom will you liken ME, and make ME EQUAL & compare ME, that we should be alike? (ISAIAH 46:5; 40:25) 

The Apostle Paul said, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of GOD, did not regard EQUALITY WITH GOD a THING to be GRASPED.” (PHILIPPIANS 2:5,6 NASB)

THE GREATEST RULE as stated in THE FIRST COMMANDMENT established YAHWEH’S PATERNAL AUTHORITY from the beginning: “I AM YAHWEH your GOD… You shall have no other gods before ME.” (EXODUS 20:2,3)

Jesus showed His support for THE GREATEST RULE when He said to Satan: ‘You shall worship YAHWEH your GOD, and HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE.” (MATTHEW 4:10 NKJV) Do a study of the words SING & PRAISE – and you will find that all song & praise is commanded to be towards YAHWEH. Yet 90% of all Christian Music is directed toward Jesus. Worthy is the Lamb! But should The Lamb be worshiped almost to the total exclusion of His GOD & our GOD?

Jesus said, “All Authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth.” (MATTHEW 28:18)

Yet Paul tells us, “Then comes the End, when He (Jesus) delivers The Kingdom to GOD THE FATHER when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power…Now when all things are made subject to HIM (THE FATHER), then The Son Himself will also be subject to HIM who put all things under Him, that GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL.” (I CORINTHIANS 15:24,28)

Jesus Himself said about YAHWEH: “This is Eternal Life, that they may know YOU, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ whom YOU have sent.” (JOHN 17:3)

The Apostle Paul wrote: “…THERE IS NO OTHER GOD BUT ONE. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many Lords), YET FOR US (Original Christians) THERE IS ONE GOD THE FATHER, of whom are all things (ISAIAH 44:24), and we for HIM; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things (PSALM 33:6) and through whom we live. (I CORINTHIANS 8:4-6)

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But there is a spirit in Man and the breath of THE ALMIGHTY gives him understanding.” (JOB 32:8) 

Christians don’t view this spirit in Man as separate from the Man – yet Theologians separate YAHWEH from HIS HOLY SPIRIT as another PERSON in the Godhead. 

Isaiah writes: “I will mention the lovingkindness of YAHWEH… but they (Israel) rebelled and grieved HIS HOLY SPIRIT, so HE (YAHWEH) turned HIMSELF against them as an enemy.” ISA.63:7,10 Notice the possessive form: ‘HIS HOLY SPIRIT.’ YAHWEH’s SPIRIT appears in the possessive form “HIS SPIRIT” 15 times in Scripture & the possessive form: ‘MY SPIRIT’20 times.

Scripture refers to THE FATHER as a PERSON (HEB.1:3), and The Son as a Person (MT.27:24) but never mentions THE HOLY SPIRIT as a person. The Bible records multiple conversations between THE FATHER and The Son – but not one conversation between THE HOLY SPIRIT and THE FATHER or THE HOLY SPIRIT and The Son. The Son loves THE FATHER (JOHN 14:31) and THE FATHER loves The Son (JOHN 3:35) But THE HOLY SPIRIT is not said ‘to love’ or ‘be loved’ at all. Nowhere in Scripture does ‘the word’ or THE HOLY SPIRIT use First Person pronouns (I, Me, Mine) – as do THE FATHER and The Son. The Hebrew word for Spirit (‘Ruach’ is feminine) yet Translators do not use feminine pronouns in the Old Testament in reference to the Holy Spirit. In the Greek the word spirit (‘pneuma’) is neuter, but biased Trinitarian Translators choose to assign masculine pronouns to it in order to bolster their extra-Biblical claim that there are 3 persons in one GOD. 

Pneuma is also translated ‘wind’ in the New Testament and Jesus compares the wind to the Spirit in the same sentence: “The wind (pneuma) blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of IT, but cannot tell where IT comes from and where IT goes. So is everyone who born of the Spirit (pneuma).” (JN.3:8)

Referring to THE FATHER, Jesus said, “GOD is SPIRIT…” (JOHN 4:24) 

So what is SPIRIT? John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He will baptize you with THE HOLY SPIRIT and with FIRE.” (MT.3:11) Jesus echoed this to His Disciples after His resurrection (ACTS 1:5) and then brought it to pass on the Day of Pentecost: “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of FIRE and one sat upon each of them (disciples) and they were all filled with THE HOLY SPIRIT (ACTS 2:3,4) King David wrote prophetically: “The Voice of YAHWEH divides the FLAMES of FIRE.” (PS.29:7)

3 times in Scripture we’re told that “GOD is a CONSUMING FIRE.”(DT.4:24; 9:3)(HEBREWS 12:29) 

When YAHWEH appears to Moses in the burning bush – it’s in the form of FIRE. When HE leads Israel through the wilderness at night – it’s in the form of A PILLAR OF FIRE. Notice the FIERY composition of YAHWEH on HIS throne (EZEKIEL 1:26-28) and of HIS glorified Son (REV.1:13-16)! King David writes of YAHWEH: “Smoke went up from HIS nostrils, and devouring FIRE from HIS MOUTH…” (PSALM 18:8) 

Of course - what we know as fire is only a copy of this SPIRIT FIRE which we will someday be transformed into: “Now YAHWEH is THE SPIRIT & where the SPIRIT of YAHWEH is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of YAHWEH, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by THE SPIRIT of YAHWEH.” (II CORINTHIANS 3:18)

We’ve all seen pictures of the Sun with special photographic lenses that enable us to see that it’s like a lake of fire – with waves of flame shooting up like a rough sea. Several times in our Bibles we read of THE SPIRIT being poured out: “And on My Menservants and on My Maidservants, I (YAHWEH) will POUR OUT MY SPIRIT in those days; And they shall prophesy. (ACTS 2:18) (JOEL 2:28)

Jesus said, “But when THE HELPER comes, whom I shall send to you FROM THE FATHER, the SPIRIT of TRUTH WHO PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER, He will testify of Me.” (JN.15:26) The HOLY SPIRIT is the FIERY ESSENCE of YAHWEH which THE FATHER poured out on the Disciples and will one day pour out on all Humanity (JOEL 2:28). It PROCEEDS from THE FATHER through The Son, and is PERSONAL (in that it’s an extension of the Father & Son) but not a separate person. 

The HOLY SPIRIT has appeared in the form of a DOVE (LUKE 3:22), BREATH (JN.20:22), FIRE, and even the form of MAN (GENESIS 18:1-3). It helps us to pray to GOD THE FATHER (ROM.8:26)

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT (EPHESIANS 4:30) nor QUENCH THE HOLY SPIRIT (I THESSALONIANS 5:19) the way the Church at Laodicea was doing (REVELATION 3:14-18) and 5 of the 10 Virgins did in Jesus parable (MATTHEW 25:1-13).

“If HE should set HIS heart on it, if HE should GATHER to HIMSELF HIS SPIRIT, and HIS BREATH, all flesh would perish together, and Man would return to dust.” (JOB 34:14,15)

Paul wrote: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of GOD, and the COMMUNION of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (II CORINTHIANS 13:14)

YAHWEH is THE ONLY TRUE GOD (JOHN 17:3), who directed HIS HOLY SPIRIT to come upon the Virgin Mary (LUKE 1:35), so that HIS word would become flesh (JN.1:14), the Firstborn of many brethren.” (ROMANS 8:29)

 

Disrespecting the name of a King in many Kingdoms of the past - was punishable by DEATH!

Disrespecting the name of GOD in the days of Ancient Israel, was also punishable by DEATH! (LEVITICUS 24:10)

The 3rd COMMANDMENT states:

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your GOD in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes HIS NAME in vain." (EXODUS 20:7)

SIN begins with IRREVERENCE! It is when we lose respect for GOD'S ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY in our lives that SIN begins to reign and lead us to destruction. We've all experienced it: We begin to take the greatness of ALMIGHTY GOD for granted, we get distracted by the cares of this World, or we get provoked to anger - and without thinking we're asking GOD to damn someone or something in a fit of rage! Hardly a REVERENT use of HIS TITLE!

Jesus upheld the 3rd COMMANDMENT when He said,:

"In this manner, therefore pray: 'Our FATHER in heaven HALLOWED (reverenced) be your name.'" (MATTHEW 6:9 NKJV)

So what's in a name? Much - especially in the Culture this instruction was given:

"A GOOD NAME is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." (PROVERBS 22:1 NKJV)

As the Interpreter's Bible Dictionary states:

"Because the divine name discloses God's Nature, it is laden with the authority, power, and holiness of GOD HIMSELF. This accounts for the great reverence for the namewhich is one of the distinctive features of Israel's Faith."

The 3rd COMMANDMENT goes far beyond taking the title of GOD in vain!

For instance, THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS understood that the Prophets were inspired with Divine Authority when they spoke in GOD'S NAME:

"Hear now MY words: If there is a Prophet among you, I the Lord make MYSELF known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream." (NUMBERS 12:6 NKJV)

"And so we have THE PROPHETIC WORD confirmed, which YOU DO WELL TO HEEDas a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart, knowing this first, that NO PROPHECY of SCRIPTURE is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of Man, but Holy men of GOD spoke as they were moved byTHE HOLY SPIRIT." (II PETER 1:19-21)

Conversely, THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS understood that Prophets who spoke on GOD'S BEHALF without being sent by HIM - would be punished:

"But the Prophet who presumes to speak a word in MY NAME, which I have notcommanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, I will require it of him." (DT.18:20)

Christians need to be cautious in saying to one another, 'GOD told me to say or do this or that,' lest they be guilty of TAKING GOD'S NAME IN VAIN - breaking the 3rd COMMANDMENT.

THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS understood that Blessings & Curses given in GOD'S NAME were potent & powerful:

"And Jabez called on the GOD of Israel saying, 'Oh that you would BLESS me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that YOUR HAND would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!' So GOD granted him what he requested." (I CHRON.4:10)

"And seeing a fig tree by the road, He (Jesus) came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, 'Let no fruit grow on you ever again.' Immediately, the fig tree withered away." (MATTHEW 21:19 NKJV)

But THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS also understood that blessing or cursing someone in GOD'S NAME without GOD'S PERMISSION made them guilty of TAKING GOD'S NAME IN VAIN. The Prophet Balaam was commissioned by Moabite King Balak to curse Israel, but the Prophet responded saying:

"How shall I curse whom GOD has not CURSED? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? ...Behold I have received a command to BLESS; HE HAS BLESSED, and I cannot reverse it." (NUMBERS 23:8,20 NKJV)

Your Bible says that OATHS taken in GOD'S NAME are binding and that OATHS not performed are blasphemous (irreverent utterance or action toward GOD):

"And you shall not SWEAR (take an Oath) by MY NAME falsely, nor shall you profane THE NAME of your GOD: I am the Lord." (LEVITICUS 19:12)

Nations can also TAKE GOD'S NAME IN VAIN when they invoke THE NAME of THE LORD going into Battle - and THE LORD has not sent them. Did THE LORD commission THE CRUSADES of the 12th& 13th Century against Islam for control of the Holy Land? Or did Church Leaders violate the 3rd Commandment by attaching the HOLY NAME of GOD to Divinely unauthorized wars? (NUM.14:39-45)

Jews and Christians can also TAKE THE NAME of GOD IN VAIN by MISREPRESENTING HIM:

"...You who preach that a man should not steal, do YOU steal? You who say, 'Do not commit Adultery,' do YOU commit Adultery? You who abhor idols, do YOU rob Temples? You who make your boast in THE LAW, do YOU DISHONOR GOD through breaking THE LAW? For THE NAME of GOD is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you... (ROMANS 2:21-24)

The 3RD COMMANDMENT not only condemns the MISUSE of GOD'S NAME - it also condemns the forgetting of HIS NAME. The Lord corrected Prophets of Israel:

"...who try to make MY People forget MY NAME by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their Fathers FORGOT MY NAME for Ba'al. (JEREMIAH 23:27 NKJV)

THE DIVINE NAME of GOD appears 6825 times in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and a couple hundred times in the New Testament - yet most Bible Translators have followed the errant example of the Scribes of Judaism in REPLACING GOD'S NAME with the title 'The Lord,'in all but a few of these texts.

Our Bibles command us to:

"Sing to GOD, sing in praise ofHIS NAME; Extol HIM who rides on the clouds, rejoice before HIM - HIS NAME is 'The Lord'" (PSALM 68:4 NIV) Do a study of the word 'Sing'...

How can Christians sing praises to GOD'S NAME when they don't even know it? Christians universally know the name of the Son of God (Jesus-Yeshua) - but millions of Christians don't know the name of Jesus' GOD and our GOD... consequently, very few songs have been written that invoke GOD'S NAME.

All Muslims know the name of their god - and adherents of the other World Religions all know the name of their gods - so how did Jews and Christians lose the name of their GOD?

Well first of all we need to understand that Ancient Israel did know the name of their GOD and used it regularly:

"Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, 'YHVH be with you! And they answered him, 'YHVH be with you!'" (RUTH 2:4)

Ironically, the Mishnah (Oral Tradition of the Jews from the 2nd Century B.C.), corroborate this Biblical Tradition:

"A man is required to greet his Fellow using THE NAME." (Mishnah Berach 9:7)

History tells us that some time after the Babylonian Captivity Jewish Leaders began to feel that the name of GOD was too HOLY for lowly Human Beings to pronounce - so they began to translate the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) as 'Adonai' which means 'The Lord' in the Hebrew Scriptures.

But Jesus said to GOD in prayer:

"I have manifested (revealed) YOUR NAME to the men (Disciples) you have given Me out of the World... Now I am no longer in the World, and I come to YOU. HOLY FATHER keep through YOUR NAME those whom YOU have given Me, that they may be one as we are. While I was with them in the World, I kept them in YOUR NAME... And I have declared to them YOUR NAME, and will declare IT, that the love with which YOU loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (JOHN 17:6,11,12,26)

History also tells us that after the Simon Bar Kokhba Rebellion of 132 A.D. - the Romans barred Jews from the City of Jerusalem - and forbade the utterance of THE NAME of their GOD in Jerusalem. So from that time forward Jews had added incentive not to speak THE NAME...

The Tetragrammaton (YHVH) remained in the Hebrew Text, but the vowel points became lost to History.

Until this week - last THURSDAY JANUARY 25TH-Jewish Scholar Nehemiah Gordon announced to the World on the Michael Ruud Show - that an ongoing project of several years had now identified 1010 Hebrew Manuscripts showing the Vowel Points with the Tetragrammaton in the Text!

So now there is a growing consensus among Jewish Rabbis and Scholars, that the correct pronunciation of GOD'S NAME is YAHOVAH!

Which of course is very close to what the 'JEHOVAH's WITNESSES have been telling the World for over a Century, and confirming what I've said for years - that if you want to find THE TRUTH - study the KEY TEACHINGS of all the CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS and you'll arrive at ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY!

All this being said, there is no text in Scripture which condemns a person for the mispronunciation of GOD'S NAME! In 1611 the general consensus of many was that JEHOVAH was the most likely pronunciation of GOD'S NAME. Then YAHWEH became the preferred pronunciation, followed by several variations... but our Bibles tell us that GOD looks on the heart, so I'm sure HE was honored by the genuine approach people were taking in trying to recover THE NAME!

King David wrote:

"Give unto YAHOVAH, O you mighty ones, give unto YAHOVAH glory and strength. Giveunto YAHOVAH the glory due to HIS NAME; Worship YAHOVAH in the beauty of holiness." (PSALM 29:1,2)

The Prophet Zephaniah was inspired to write:

"For then I will RESTORE TO THE PEOPLE a pure language, THAT THEY ALL MAY CALL ON THE NAME of YAHOVAH, to serve HIM with one accord." (ZEPHANIAH 4:9)

We're told in the book of PROVERBS:

The NAME of YAHOVAH is A STRONG TOWER; the righteous RUN TO IT & ARE SAFE." (PROVERBS 18:10)

And we conclude with this strong statement to Priests, which the Apostle Peter calls us all (I PETER 2:9):

"And now O Priests, THIS COMMANDMENT is for you. 'If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, TO GIVE GLORY TO MY NAME,' says YAHOVAH of HOSTS, I willsend a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings..." (MALACHI 2:1,2)

 

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RITUALS get a bad rap from those who associate them with RELGIOSITY & LEGALISM… yet RITUAL is a vital part of every RELIGION on Earth…

RITUALS are symbolic repetitive acts that keep people IN SYNC with their god – and make clear distinctions between RELIGIONS: ‘The 5 PILLARS of ISLAM… ‘The 8-FOLD PATH of BUDHISM’ ‘The LORD’s SUPPER’ of Christianity…

It must matter to YAHWEH what RITUALS we observe – because HE once plagued the people of Samaria brought in by King Nebuchadnezzar to replace the Israelites in the Land, because they ignored the RITUALS of the Land of Israel and practiced their own Pagan Rituals instead: “So they spoke to the King of Assyria, saying, ‘The Nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the RITUALS of the GOD of the Land; therefore HE has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the RITUALS of the GOD of the Land. Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, ‘Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him TEACH the RITUALS of the GOD of the LAND.” (II KINGS 17:26,27)

Concerning the RITUAL of THE LORD’S SUPPER, Jesus said, “…unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (JOHN 6:53,54)

Clearly - the RITUALS GOD has given us in the pages of our Bibles - are very important to HIM and HIS Son – and ones we are expected to observe with reverence (I CORINTHIANS 11:27-30)

There’s a growing DIVIDE in Christianity today over what RITUALS YAHWEH wants Christians to observe. It goes back to a famous Edict of the early Catholic Church during the Council of Nicaea:

“Christians must not JUDAIZE by resting on the Sabbath, but MUST work on that day – rather honoring the Lord’s Day (nowhere sanctified in Scripture), and if they can – resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be JUDAIZERS – let them be anathema from Christ.”

Motivated by Anti-Semitism, Catholic Leaders wanted to put a clear distinction between the RITUALS of JUDAISM – and the RITUALS of future CHRISTIANITY. Yet the Apostle Paul refers to THE JEWS as the OLIVE TREE that WE GENTILES are being ‘grafted in to’ – reminding us: ‘You (Christians) do not support the root (Israel), but the root supports you.”

For the Catholic Church then to decree that Christians “…must not JUDAIZE by resting on the Sabbath (which History shows the majority of Christians were still doing in the 4th Century A.D.) but MUST work on that day…” runs contrary to GOD’S affinity for Israel as THE APPLE OF HIS EYE (DT.32:10) (ZECHARIAH 2:8) and YAHWEH’S COMMAND to cease work on the 7 th Day, resting from all your labors (EXODUS 20:8-10)

This Edict has caused millions of Christians down through the Centuries to stigmatize Sabbath-Keeping Christians as Legalists & Judaizers – when all they were trying to do is practice the RITUALS of the Bible and the ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS!

Even a cursory look at the book of ACTS and the Epistles of Paul make it very clear that the ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS were observing the BIBLICAL RITUALS outlined in LEVITICUS 23.

The Christian Church Era was purposely started by YAH on the FEAST of PENTECOST: “When the Day of PENTECOST had fully come, they (the 120 remaining Disciples of Jesus ACTS 1:15) were all with one accord in one place.” (ACTS 2:1) Jesus Disciples observed this HOLY CONVOCATION (commanded Assembly of worship) as given in LEVITCUS 23:15-21)

Years later, we read Paul “…had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was HURRYING to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.” (ACTS 20:16)

In another instance, Paul told the Corinthians, “But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. (I COR.16:8)

The Apostle Paul also said, “But we sailed away from Philippi AFTER THE DAYS of UNLEAVENED BREAD.” (ACTS 20:6) Philippi was a Gentile Congregation in Macedonia (Greece) that was obviously observing the FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD as outlined in LEVITICUS 23:6-8 – because Paul waited till it was over to set sail again.

Paul told the Congregation in Corinth (another Gentile Congregation in Asia Minor), “Therefore purge out the old leaven (one of the rituals associated with this Festival), that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed CHRIST, our PASSOVER, was sacrificed for us. Therefore, LET US KEEP THE FEAST (of Unleavened Bread), not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the Unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth.” (I CORINTHIANS 5:7,8)

In yet another of Paul’s journeys, he makes a passing reference to the Feast of Atonement (commonly called ‘The Fast’ because fasting was part of the RITUAL of the day – Leviticus 23:27-31): “Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because THE FAST was already over…”

While not all the FESTIVALS of LEVITICUS 23 are mentioned in the New Testament, it’s clear from Paul’s words that the ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS were in the cycle of observing these days and their RITUALS. By contrast, none of the currently observed Christian Holidays or their rituals are found anywhere in the Bible.

Luke records, “…and as His (Jesus) custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, and stood up to read.” (LUKE 4:16) Jesus referred to Himself as “Lord of the Sabbath,” (MARK 2:28) - not ‘Lord of Sunday.’

In the book of ACTS we read: “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them (of the Synagogue), and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures.” (ACTS 17:2)

The Muslim RITUAL practice of sanctifying Friday & the Christian RITUAL practice of sanctifying Sunday – are nowhere found in the Bible.

So unless you recognize Muhammad’s or the Papacy’s authority to wipe away the Sabbath & Festivals and replace them with others – shouldn’t you be practicing the RITUALS of the BIBLE that the Original Christians observed? Jesus chided the Scribes & Pharisees saying, “And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (MATTHEW 15:9) He also said, “Thus you have made THE COMMANDMENT of GOD of no effect by YOUR TRADITION.” (MATTHEW 15:6)

Your Bible says that in the future, “And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another – ALL FLESH SHALL COME TO WORSHIP BEFORE ME, says YAHWEH.” (ISAIAH 66:23)

The Bible also warns National Leaders, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the Nations which came against Jerusalem (Battle of Armageddon) shall go up from year to year to worship the King, YAHWEH of HOSTS, and TO KEEP THE FEAST of TABERNACLES (LEV.23:34-44). And it shall be that whichever of the Families of the Earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, YAHWEH of HOSTS, on them there will be no rain. If the Family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which YAHWEH strikes the Nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (ZECHARIAH 14:16-18)

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If you had worked in the Factories of the early 20th Century - you would have worked 12-16 hours a day without a break! But Labor Laws changed all that in favor of the Worker, requiring Employers to give Employees a 15 minute rest-break for every 4 hours worked. Most Workers rejoiced in these mandatory rest-breaks - but not the Work-a-holics - they saw it as a waste of time and an infringement of their freedom!

YAHWEH gave mankind a MANDATORY REST BREAK on the 7th Day of Creation. The book of Genesis says:

"And on THE 7th DAY GOD ended HIS work which HE had done and HE rested on THE 7th DAY from all HIS work which HE had done. Then GOD blessed THE 7TH DAY and SANCTIFIED (set it apart) it, because in it HE rested from all HIS work which GOD had created and made." (GENESIS 2:2,3 NKJV)

THE SABBATH was established by GOD at the beginning of Human History - as a RITUAL of BLESSING to all Mankind! But like the Work-a-holics mentioned above - Mankind has largely ignored this MANDATORY REST BREAK RITUAL,and robbed themselves of a great blessing in the process!

This SABBATH REST is so important to GOD that HE made it part of the 10 COMMANDMENTS. The 4th COMMANDMENT says:

"REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY to KEEP IT HOLY. 6 Days you shall labor and do all your work, but THE 7TH DAY is THE SABBATH of YAHWEH your GOD. In it you shall do no work: You, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant (employee), nor your female servant (employee), nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in 6 Days, YAHWEH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested THE 7TH DAY. Therefore, YAHWEH blessed THE SABBATH DAY and hallowed (proclaim holy) it." (EXODUS 20:8-11)

What a blessing Mankind is missing! Imagine having a 24 hour period at the end of a hard 'Work Week' in which no one can make you work. Time with your Family every Friday evening to enjoy the fruits of your labor (a great meal) together. Time to read & discuss GODS WORD, watch a documentary about some aspect of GOD'S CREATION, and pray together as a Family. Time on Sabbath morning to sleep in and rejuvenate your body. Time to WORSHIP YOUR CREATOR with others of like mind as you gather together for the commanded assembly (LEVITICUS 23:3). Time to hear a helpful Biblical message. Time to sit & absorb the sights and sounds of Nature in which you can rejuvenate your mind & emotions.

Who wouldn't want such a Day every week that they could absolutely count on? Those who've never tried it- and those who don't want anyone (including GOD) to tell them what to do with their time!

In the 4th Century A.D. the Roman Catholic Church put forth the following Edict at THE COUNCIL OF LAODICEA:

"Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day; and if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be Judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."

Such an Edict would not be politically correct if issued by the Vatican today, because it would be viewed as Anti-Semitic. But the damage was done - as Christians throughout the Roman Empire moved away from the Sabbath sanctified by YAHWEH - to Sunday, sanctified by mere men.

In the 7th Century Muhammad declared the 6th day of the week (Friday) to be the 'Holy'day of the week

Such Human pronouncements fly in the face of one of YAHWEH'S clear warnings:

"Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; You shall not ADD to it nor TAKE AWAY from it."(DEUTERONOMY 12:32)

But this is exactly what happened! YAHWEH'S SABBATH was TAKEN AWAY by the decrees of men - and counterfeited by ADDING Sunday & Friday through the decrees of men!

If the President of the United States, or your favorite Movie Star or Professional Athlete invited you to spend every Tuesday with him or her - don't you think you would clear your schedule and make sure you kept such an appointment? Would you have the gall to suggest another day instead? Would you ever purposely skip such an appointment?

How much greater is GOD ALMIGHTY than such prominent people? Yet most of Humanity has 'STOOD UP' their Maker every Saturday of their lives - never even considering that YAHWEH has feelings too:

"...I (YAHWEH) was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from ME, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols..." (EZEKIEL 6:9)

"...they have hidden their eyes from MY SABBATHS, so that I am profaned among them." (EZEKIEL 22:26)

"Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear ME and always keep all MY COMMANDMENTS - that it might be well with them and with their children forever." (Deuteronomy 5:29)

Jesus said that the 1st and greatest commandment was to:

"LOVE YAHWEH YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND." (MATTHEW 22:37)

Yet most people would rather spend a day with their favorite athletes at the Ball Park, or with their favorite Musician at a Music Festival - than with their CREATOR GOD.

The Prophet Isaiah warned:

"Seek YAHWEH while HE may be found, call upon HIM while HE is near." (ISAIAH 55:6)

For YAHWEH HIMSELF SAYS:

"Because I have called AND YOU REFUSED, I have stretched out MY HAND and NO ONE REGARDED, because you disdained all MY counsel, and would have none of MY rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. THEN THEY WILL CALL ON ME, BUT I WILL NOT ANSWER; THEY WILL SEEK ME DILIGENTLY, BUT THEY WILL NOT FIND ME. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of YAHWEH, they would have none of MY counsel and despised MY every rebuke." (PROVERBS 1:24-30)

When we want to develop a relationship with someone - we make plans to spend time with that person. We make appointments, we plan dates, we talk on the phone... OBSERVING THE SABBATH every 7th Day helps us develop a relationship with GOD OUR FATHER and Jesus Christ our Savior.

Jesus said:

"But the hour is coming, and now is, when THE TRUE WORSHIPERS WILL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT & TRUTH; for THE FATHER is seeking such to worship HIM." (JN.4:23)

According to Jesus - TRUTH is found in the Bible (JOHN 17:17) - so THE TRUE WORSHIPERS will worship THE FATHER according to instructions found in Scripture - not according to the proclamations of men!

No Christian would blatantly teach and encourage people to break the other 9 COMMANDMENTS - to bow down and worship idols, take GOD'S name in vain, murder, commit adultery, steal, lie or covet - so why are Christians so cavalier about the 4th COMMANDMENT? It's because they have been falsely taught by Theologians and Church Leaders that THE SABBATH was done away by Christ's sacrifice.

Yet Jesus said:

"THE SABBATH was made for Man, and not Man for THE SABBATH." (MARK 2:27)

THE SABBATH was not made for the Jews - it was established the day after the 1st Man was created - for the benefit of ALL MANKIND! (GENESIS 2:2,3)

YAHWEH told the Israelites:

"6 Days shall work be done, but THE 7th DAY is a SABBATH OF SOLEMN REST, a Holy Convocation (A Commanded Assembly). You shall do no work on it; it is THE SABBATH OF YAHWEH in all your dwellings." (LEVITCUS 23:3 NKJV)

And lest you think this to be strictly an Old Testament Ritual - The Apostle Paul wrote:

"THERE REMAINS THEN A SABBATH-REST for the people of GOD (The Church); for anyone who enters GOD'S REST also rests from their works, just as GOD did from HIS." (HEBREWS 4:9,10 NIV)

Throughout the 1st Century A.D. the book of ACTS records that THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS obeyed THE 4TH COMMANDMENT, gathering together to worship as commanded:

"From Perga they (Paul & his companions) went on to Pisidia Antioch. On THE SABBATH they entered the Synagogue and sat down." (ACTS 13:14 NIV)

"As Paul & Barnabas were leaving the Synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next SABBATH." (ACTS 13:42 NIV)

"On the next SABBATH - almost the whole City gathered to hear the word of the Lord." (ACTS 13:44 NIV)

"On THE SABBATH we (Paul & Timothy) went outside the City gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there." (ACTS 16:13)

"As was his custom, Paul went into the Synagogue, and on 3 SABBATH DAYS he reasoned with them from the Scriptures..." (ACTS 17:2)

Your Bible promises children that if they obey their parents, their "days will be long upon the Land." (EXODUS 20:12)

YAHWEH made a special promise of blessing to all who observe THE 4TH COMMANDMENT as well:

"If you keep your feet from breaking THE SABBATH, and from doing as you please on MY HOLY DAY, if you call THE SABBATH a delight, and the Lord's Holy Day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way, and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in YAHWEH, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the Land, and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. For the mouth of YAHWEH has spoken." (ISAIAH 58:13,14 NIV)

"Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it: WHO KEEPS FROM DEFILING THE SABBATH..." (ISAIAH 56:2 NKJV)

One of the reasons there is so much anxiety, stress, sickness and disease in the world today is that Human Beings go non-stop 7 days a week: working, running errands, doing chores, and partying - all of which takes a great toll on our bodies. YAHWEH designed Humans & Animals to sleep and rest on a regular basis in order to function optimally. We rob ourselves and our live-stock of good health by not resting on THE 7TH DAY RITUALLY.

Jesus said:

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you REST. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find REST for your souls." (MT.11:28 NIV)

One of the things we're supposed to LEARN from CHRIST that brings us REST is Sabbath observance:

"...And as His (Jesus) custom was, He went into the Synagogue on THE SABBATH DAY..." (LUKE 4:16)

"And Pray that your flight (from Judaea at the dawn of the Tribulation) may not be in Winter or on THE SABBATH, for then there will be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as has not been since the beginning of the World until this time, no nor ever shall be." (MATTHEW 24:20,21 NKJV)

After Jesus returns to this Earth, and 'the Kingdoms of this World become the Kingdoms of YAHWEH and HIS Christ,' (REV.11:15) - the Prophet Isaiah tells us:

"And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and FROM ONE SABBATH TO ANOTHER, ALL FLESH SHALL COME TO WORSHIP BEFORE ME, says YAHWEH." (ISAIAH 66:23)

When Christ returns - no longer will men gather to worship GOD on days of their own devising (Friday, Sunday) - but ALL FLESH will gather to worship YAHWEH on HIS SABBATH DAY as HE intended from the beginning. Why not begin NOW to enjoy this weekly rendezvous with your MAKER!

If you could call GOD on your CELL PHONE – what would you talk to HIM about? If you could TEXT YAHOVAH – what would you write? If you could SNAPCHAT THE ALMIGHTY what moment would you share?

Most people these days use these forms of communication INCESSANTLY, while ignoring the command in their Bibles to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! (I THESSALONIANS 5:17) Too many Christians today are AT ONE WITH THEIR PHONES instead of AT ONE WITH THEIR CREATOR! They’re in communication with anyone and everyone EXCEPT GOD…

GOD has dealt with such perplexing priorities before:

“Of the ROCK who begot you – you are UNMINDFUL, and have FORGOTTEN THE GOD who fathered you.” (DEUTERONOMY 32:18 NKJV)

“…who exchanged the TRUTH of GOD for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the CREATOR, who is blessed forever, amen.” (ROMANS 1:25)

“The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek GOD; GOD is in none of his thoughts.” (PSALM 10:4 NKJV)

What GOD wants from us Jesus clearly spelled out to the Samaritan woman at the well:

“But the hour is coming & now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPERS will worship THE FATHER in spirit and truth; for THE FATHER is SEEKING SUCH to WORSHIP HIM. GOD is SPIRIT, and those who worship HIM must worship in spirit and truth.” (JOHN 4:23,24 NKJV)

King David and the Prophet Daniel exemplified what it means to be TRUE WORSHIPERS:

EVENING and MORNING and at NOON I (King David) will pray, and cry aloud, and HE shall hear my voice.” (PSALM 55:17)

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, HE KNELT DOWN ON HIS KNEES 3 TIMES THAT DAY, and PRAYED and gave thanks before his GOD – AS WAS HIS CUSTOM since early days.” (DANIEL 6:10 NKJV)

But just HOW DO WE PRAY? Jesus Disciples asked Him that very question, to which Jesus responded:

In this manner, therefore, PRAY: ‘Our FATHER in Heaven, HALLOWED (reverenced) be your name.” (MATTHEW 6:9 NKJV)

The importance of YAHOVAH’S NAME we discussed in last week’s program concerning the 3rd Commandment. Jesus is showing us that the best way to start your day is to put yourself in a reverent frame of mind in worship of OUR CREATOR!

That’s why Eliphaz the Temanite asked JOB, “Is not your REVERENCE your CONFIDENCE? (JOB 4:6 NKJV) As the Apostle Paul wrote, “If GOD is for us – who can be against us?” (ROM.8:31)

65 of the 66 books of your Bible contain mostly communication from GOD to Man – but The book of PSALMS is primarily communication from Man to GOD! It’s the PRAYER & PRAISE of King David and others which GOD had recorded and included in the Bible as an example of HOW HE WANTS TO BE WORSHIPED! So if you want to learn to PRAY effectively – read the book of PSALMS.

Jesus goes on to say, in his instruction to His Disciples on how to PRAY:

YOUR Kingdom come. YOUR WILL BE DONE on Earth as it is in Heaven.” (MT.6:10)

Here, Jesus is trying to help us understand & embrace 2 concepts:

I AM YAHOVAH your GOD, who teaches you WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU, who directs you in the way you should go.” (ISAIAH 48:17 NIV)

“Therefore I exhort first of all that SUPPLICATIONS (requests), PRAYERS, INTERCESSIONS and GIVING of THANKS be made for ALL MEN, for Kings and all who are in Authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of GOD our SAVIOR.” (I TIMOTHY 2:1-3)

How important is INTERCESSORY PRAYER? The Prophet Samuel said:

Far be it from me that I should SIN against YAHOVAH in CEASING TO PRAY FOR YOU.” (I SAMUEL 12:23 NKJV)

Most of us tend to focus on our SINS of COMMISSION, but there are also SINS of OMISSION – things we neglect to do for others including PRAYER!

We of course love the fact that Jesus makes INTERCESSION for us:

“It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of GOD, Who also MAKES INTERCESSION FOR US.” (ROMANS 8:34 NKJV)

INTERCESSORY PRAYER is simply pleading with GOD on behalf of others. Abraham gave us a good example, when he PLEADED with YAHOVAH for mercy to be extended to the people of Sodom:

“And Abraham came near and said, ‘Would YOU also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were 50 righteous within the City; Would YOU also destroy the place and not spare it for the 50 righteous that were in it? (GENESIS 18:23,24)

“And YAHOVAH said to Moses, ‘I have seen this People (Israel), and indeed it is a stiff-necked People! Now therefore, let ME alone, that MY wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you (Moses) a great Nation.’ Then Moses PLEADED with YAHOVAH his GOD… so YAHOVAH relented from the harm which HE said HE would do to HIS People.” (EXODUS 32:9-11, 14)

“And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on GOD and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord DO NOT CHARGE THEM WITHTHIS SIN.’ And when he said this, he fell asleep.” (ACTS 7:59,60)

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, that you may be healed. The EFFECTIVE, FERVENT PRAYER of a righteous man AVAILS MUCH.” (JAMES 5:16 NKJV)

YAHOVAH inspired the Apostle John to write:

“Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren & STRANGERS.” (III JOHN vs. 5)

VOICE of the MARTYRS has a 2018 Calendar out that shows you how you to PRAY for STRANGERS who are your brothers & sisters in Christ, in Nations all over the World.

Part of LEARNING HOW TO PRAY according to our Lord Jesus is making PETITION of GOD:

“Give us this day, our daily bread.” (MATTHEW 6:11 NJKV)

YAHOVAH gave Israel their daily bread called MANNA for 40 years in the Wilderness. HE just wants us to ask:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by PRAYER and SUPPLICATION (request), with thanksgiving, LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN TO GOD.” (PHIL.4:6 NKJV)

King David wrote:

“Delight yourself in YAHOVAH, and HE shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to YAHOVAH, trust also in HIM, and HE shall bring it to pass.” (PSALM 37:4,5 NKJV)

PRAYER according to our Savior, also involves seeking FORGIVENESS from GOD, and talking to HIM about those who have hurt us and need our FORIVENESS:

“And FORGIVE us our debts, as we FORGIVE our debtors.” (MATTHEW 6:12 NKJV)

Most Christians seek FORGIVENESS from GOD on a regular basis, but many don’t think to address GOD about those who need THEIR FORGIVENESS:

“So My HEAVENLY FATHER also will do to you (punish), if each of you, FROM HIS HEART DOES NOT FORGIVE HIS BROTHER HIS TRESPASSES.” (MATTHEW 18:35 NKJV)

PRAYER is the best time to address FORGIVENESS from GOD – and FORGIVENESS of OTHERS – we all need to leave the 99 and go after the 1 – once in a while…

Jesus also instructed us to PETITION GOD about the EVIL we’re immersed in living in the World:

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One (Satan).” (MT.6:13 NKJV)

The Apostle Peter wrote:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (I PETER 5:8 NKJV)

The Apostle Paul added:

“And PRAY that we may be delivered from WICKED and EVIL PEOPLE, for not everyone has faith.” (II THESSALONIANS 3:2 NKJV)

Our goal in PRAYER should be that of the Apostle Paul, who wrote:

“For what is our hope, or our joy, or crown of rejoicing? IS IT NOT YOU IN THE PRESENCE of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AT HIS COMING?” (I THESSALONIANS 2:19 NKJV)

When it comes to PRAYER, let us all remember these words of the Prophet Isaiah:

“Seek YAHOVAH while HE may be found, call upon HIM while HE is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to YAHOVAH, and HE will have mercy on him; and to our GOD, for HE will abundantly pardon.” (ISAIAH 55:6,7)

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Even though January 1st is celebrated around the World as THE BEGINNING of THE NEW YEAR - It's NOT the beginning of the New Year according to your Bible! Do you think it matters to GOD when we BEGIN THE YEAR?

YAHWEH told the Israelites:

"This month (Abib - Spring) SHALL BE YOUR BEGINNING OF MONTHS; IT SHALL BE THE FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO YOU." (EXODUS 12:2)
"OBSERVE THE MONTH OF ABIB..." (DEUTERONOMY 16:1)

The month of January is named after the ancient Roman god 'Janus,' the god of 'doorways' & 'archways' because he had 2 faces - one looking toward the past & one looking to the future. Julius Caesar used this god to begin his 'Julian Calendar,' because 'Janus' was the god of 'change,' and 'transitions.' Thus JANUARY became the gateway to THE NEW YEAR.

But our Bibles tell us otherwise! Jesus said:

"I am THE DOOR. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved..." (JOHN 10:9 NKJV)
"I am THE GATE; Whoever enters through Me, will be saved..." (JOHN 10:9 NIV)
"Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in HIM who sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has PASSED FROM DEATH INTO LIFE." (JOHN 5:24 NKJV)

This firstmonth of GOD'S CALENDAR YEAR that we are commanded to observe (ABIB) means 'GREEN EARS' and is a reference to Barley, which is the first of the grains to ripen in the Land of Canaan. YAHWEH commanded the Israelites:

"...When you come into the Land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the Firstfruits of your harvest to the Priest." (LEVITICUS 23:10 NKJV)
"But now CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, and has BECOME THE FIRSTFRUITS of those who have fallen asleep." (I CORINTHIANS 15:20 NKJV)

Jesus is THE GATEWAY to THE BIBILICAL NEW YEAR, because He represents THE GREEN EARS OF BARLEY as THE FIRSTFRUITS of THE NEW YEAR!

The Original Christians understood this fact, and their celebration of THE BIBILICAL NEW YEAR in the Spring - put their focus on Jesus Christ - NOTthe Roman god Janus.

Paul dealt with this natural human proclivity of the Galatians drifting back into Worldly Celebrations:

"Formerly, when you did not know GOD, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know GOD - or rather are known by GOD - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special Days and Months and Seasons and Years. I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you!" (GALATIANS 4:8-11 NIV).

The Apostle Peter admonished:

"For you have spent enough time in the past doing what Pagans choose to do - living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry." (I PETER 4:3 NIV)

January 1st is a Day of NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS for most people - and most people's RESOLVE, revolves around improving their health or appearance. Human Ego moves many people to want to look HOT in the New Civil Year...a better body, a more attractive appearance...

But GOD wants us to be HOT spiritually! Notice Jesus evaluation of the Church at Laodocea:

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor HOT. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm - neither cold nor HOT - I am about to spit you out of My mouth." (REVELATION 3:15,16 NIV)

What does it look like to be HOT SPIRITUALLY? We're told in HEBREWS 12:14:

HOLY: "Pursue peace with all people and Holiness, without which no one will see GOD."The Greek word for Holiness (Hagios) means 'set apart,' as in uncorrupted by the World. "Do not love the World or the things in the World. If anyone loves the World, the love of THE FATHER is not in him. For all that is in the World - the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of THE FATHER, but is of the World. And the World is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of GOD abides forever." (I JOHN 2:15-17 NKJV)
OUTWARD: "Therefore, as you have opportunity, lets us do good to ALL - especially to those of the HOUSEHOLD of FAITH. (GALATIANS 6:10)
The Apostle Paul wrote of one of the Original Christians who understood OUTWARDNESS: "Yet I considered it necessary to send to you EPAPHRODITUS my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier...because for the WORK of CHRIST he came close to death, NOT REGARDING HIS LIFE, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me." (PHILIPPIANS 2:25,30)
TRUTH: "Teach me your way YAHWEH; I will walk in your TRUTH..." (PSALM 86:11)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

"The coming of the 'Lawless One' is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because THEY DID NOT RECEIVE THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved. (II THES.2:9,10)
"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." (II JOHN VS.10,11 NKJV)

"PURE and undefiled RELIGION before GOD and THE FATHER is this: TO VISIT ORPHANS & WIDOWS in their TROUBLE, and to KEEP ONESELF UNSPOTTED from the World. (JAMES 1:27)

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The Apostle Paul told a 1st Century Crowd: “Repent therefore and be converted that your SINS may be blotted out, so that TIMES of REFRESHING may come from THE PRESENCE of YAHWEH, and that HE may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom Heaven must receive until THE TIMES of RESTORATION of ALL THINGS which GOD has spoken by the mouth of all HIS holy Prophets since the World began.” (ACTS 3:19-21)  It will be a return to ‘the Garden of Eden’ conditions!

But that’s the future (which we’ll talk about in detail in next week’s program).  What does your Bible tell us about past RESTORATIONS and what YAHWEH is currently RESTORING on this Earth today?

The Old Testament is the story of YAHWEH RESTORING HIS PRESENCE & AUTHORITY in one Nation (Israel) as a WITNESS to all the other Nations as to what HE desires Nations to function like!

Moses told the people of Israel, “Surely I have taught you Statutes & Judgments, just as YAHWEH my GOD commanded me… therefore be careful to observe them: for this is your wisdom & understanding IN THE SIGHT OF THE PEOPLES who will hear all these Statutes & say, ‘Surely this great Nation is a wise and understanding People.’ For what great Nation is there that has GOD so near to it as YAHWEH our GOD is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon HIM?  And what great Nation is there that has such Statutes & righteous Judgments as are in all this LAW which I set before you this day? (DT.4:5-8)

YAHWEH said, “Let ALL THE NATIONS be gathered together, and let the People be assembled.  Who among them can declare this & show us former things (Earth’s origin)? Let them bring out their witnesses that they may be justified; or let them hear & say, ‘It is Truth.’  You (Israel) are MY WITNESSES says YAHWEH & My Servant who I have chosen, that you may know & believe ME & understand that I AM HE.  Before ME there was no God formed, nor shall there be after ME.” (ISAIAH 43:9-11)

“… I have given symbols through the WITNESS of the Prophets.” (HOSEA 12:10)

“Then the glory of YAHWEH departed from the threshold of the Temple…” (EZEKIEL 10:18)

50 DAYS after Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us on the FEAST of PENTECOST, YAHWEH’S PRESENCE & AUTHORITY was RESTORED on Earth in 3120 People (ACTS 1:15;   2:1-4;  41)

The New Testament is the story of YAHWEH RESTORING HIS PRESENCE & AUTHORITY in a Spiritual Nation (The Church: I PETER 2:9) to be a WITNESS to Mankind of the liberty which comes with being ruled by GOD (JOHN 8:31,31) 

“Do you not know that You are the Temple of GOD & that the Spirit of GOD dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the Temple of GOD, GOD will destroy him.  For the Temple of GOD is holy, which Temple you are.” (I CORINTHIANS 3:16,17)

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you & YOU SHALL BE WITNESSES TO ME in Jerusalem & in all Judaea & Samaria and to the end of the Earth.” (ACTS 1:8)

“A TRUE WITNESS DELIVERS SOULS – but a deceitful witness speaks lies.” (PROVERBS 14:25)

“This GOSPEL of THE KINGDOM will be preached in all the World as a WITNESS TO ALL THE NATIONS, and then the End will come.” (MT.24:14)

“Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their WITNESS to Jesus and for the word of GOD…” (REVELATION 20:4)

“…Repent and do THE FIRST WORKS, or else I will come to you quickly & remove your Lampstand from its place…” (REV.2:5) The Lampstand is symbolic of GOD’S presence!

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We all know that 'in the beginning' YAHWEH had a relationship with the first man and woman...

We also know that SIN soon SEPARATED Adam & Eve from their MAKER...

We've talked about how GOD RESTORED HIS PRESENCE on the Earth in the Tabernacle of Meeting and later in the Temple that King Solomon built - that ISRAEL might be a WITNESS to ALL NATIONS of what GOD intended Nations to be. And we know that eventually the SINS of ISRAEL SEPARATED them from GOD (ISAIAH 59:2) - and HIS PRESENCE departed from the Temple (EZEKIEL 10:18).

GOD'S PRESENCE was RESTORED UPON THIS EARTH in a new SPIRITUAL NATION called THE CHURCH (I PETER 2:9) - which was also called to WITNESS GOD'S WAYS to the World (ACTS 1:8)

But unlike in the Tabernacle & Temple - YAHWEH'S PRESENCE today is not in tents or buildings - No, as Paul was inspired to write: "Do you not know that YOU (Individual Christians) are the TEMPLE of GOD and that THE SPIRIT of GOD DWELLS IN YOU?" (I CORINTHIANS 3:16)

But exactly how does this happen? When YAHWEH FILLED the Tabernacle & Temple with HIS PRESENCE - HE did it through a pyrotechnic display that took Israel's collective breath away!

When GOD 'baptized' the Apostles with THE HOLY SPIRIT on the Feast of Pentecost (ACTS 2:1-4) - It was also through a bit of pyrotechnics - as there appeared divided tongues of fire upon their heads - indicating YAHWEH'S HOLY PRESENCE coming upon them!

But how were new believers FILLED WITH THE PRESENCE of GOD? We don't have to guess, the book of ACTS tells us: "And when Simon (the Sorcerer) saw that THROUGH THE LAYING ON OF THE APOSTLES' HANDS THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS GIVEN, he offered them money, saying, 'Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I LAY HANDS may receive the Holy Spirit.' But Peter said to him, 'Your money perish with you, because you thought that THE GIFT of GOD could be purchased with money!'" (ACTS 8:18-20)

According to the book of HEBREWS, the 'LAYING ON OF HANDS' ritual is one of 6 foundational doctrines of CHRISTIANITY, and is preceded by 'Repentance from dead works,' 'Faith toward GOD,' and Baptism (HEBREWS 6:1,2) There are accounts in the book of ACTS which show that people were baptized, but did not receive THE PRESENCE OF GOD THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT until after they had the 'LAYING ON OF HANDS' (ACTS 8:14-17; 19:1-6) This was done through the Apostles or Elders (I TIMOTHY 4:14)

FULL SPIRITUAL CONVERSION & DISCIPLESHIP under JESUS - cannot happen until a person receives the HOLY SPIRIT! The Apostle Paul wrote: "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NOT HIS... For as many as ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT of GOD, these ARE SONS of GOD." (ROMANS 8:9,14)

So what are the BIBLICAL STEPS that GOD takes a Human Being through in order to get him or her ready for HIM TO DWELL IN AS HIS TEMPLE? What is the Biblical process of CONVERSION?

CALLING: Jesus said, "No one can come to Me, unless THE FATHER who sent Me draws him..." (JOHN 6:44) The Apostle Paul wrote: "For you see your CALLING brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are CALLED; But GOD has CHOSEN the foolish things of the World to put to shame the wise, and GOD has CHOSEN the weak things of the World to put to shame the things which are mighty..." (I CORINTHIANS 1:26,27) "...the goodness of GOD leads you to REPENTANCE." (ROMANS 2:4)

CONVICTION: "But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in (to a Worship Service) while everyone is prophesying, THEY ARE CONVICTED OF SIN and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their heart are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship GOD, exclaiming, 'GOD is really among you'" (I CORINTHIAN 14:24,25 NIV) "For the word of GOD is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (HEBREWS 4:12 NKJV) The Apostle Paul wrote "the goodness of GOD leads you to REPENTANCE." (ROMANS 2:4) "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." (I JOHN 3:4) "Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it - to him it is sin."(JAMES 4:17) "For whatever is not from faith is sin." (ROMANS 14:23)

CONFESSION: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (Jesus) a liar, and His word is not in us." (I JOHN 1:9,10) "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (ROMANS 10:10)

COUNT THE COST: "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and COUNT THE COST, whether he has enough to finish it - lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish? (LUKE 27-30) "If anyone comes to Me but loves his father, mother, wife, children, brothers or sisters, more than he loves Me - then he cannot be My follower. A person must love Me more than he loves himself!" (LUKE 14:26 ICB)

COMMITMENT: "But this I (Paul) say, brethren, THE TIME IS SHORT, so that from now on - even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep, as though they did not weep, those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world, as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. But I want you to be without care. HE WHO IS UNMARRIED CARES FOR THE THINGS OF THE LORD - HOW HE MAY PLEASE THE LORD. But he who is married cares about the things of the world - how he may please his wife." (I CORINTHIANS 7:29-33 NKJV) "I (Paul) beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of GOD - THAT YOU PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable to GOD, which is your reasonable service." (ROMANS 12:1 NKJV)

COVENANT: "Likewise He (Jesus) also took the cup after supper, saying, 'THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU." (LUKE 22:20) "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of THE FATHER, even so WE ALSO SHOULD WALK in NEWNESS of LIFE." (ROMANS 6:3,4)

CHANGE: "Because THEY DO NOT CHANGE, therefore THEY DO NOT FEAR GOD." (PS.55:19) "For this I (Paul) pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the Day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of GOD." (PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11)

GOD is RESTORING HIS PRESENCE on this Earth IN THOSE WHO HAVE YIELDED TO THE AUTHORITY OF HIS WORD. Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORD; and My FATHER will love him, and WE WILL COME TO HIM AND MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM." (JOHN 14:23)

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We've been talking lately about the ROLES that GOD has called us as Christians to play on His behalf - and one of those ROLES is that of: WATCHMAN. Jesus said, "WATCH therefore, and pray always - that you may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS THAT WILL COME TO PASS, and to stand before The Son of Man." (LUKE 21:36) Summarize the events Jesus had just described...

The Apostle Peter wrote: "...I stir up your pure mind by way of reminder, THAT YOU MAY BE MINDFUL of the WORDS which were spoken before by THE HOLY PROPHETS, and of the commandment of us, the Apostles of the Lord and Savior, KNOWING THIS FIRST: THAT SCOFFERS WILL COME in THE LAST DAYS, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His (Jesus) coming? For since the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of Creation.'" (II PETER 3:1-4)

PRETERISM is a Christian Eschatological View which holds that 'some' (Partial Preterism) - or 'all' (Full Preterism) Prophecies of the Bible have already been fulfilled. The term comes from a latin word (praeter) which means 'past' or 'beyond.' Full Preterists hold that books like Daniel and Revelation have been fully fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Roman General Titus. But the majority of sources date the book of Revelation a decade later - to the reign of Emperor Domitian (81-96 A.D.)

The Prophet Amos was inspired by GOD to write: "Surely YAHWEH GOD DOES NOTHING - UNLESS HE REVEALS HIS SECRET TO HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS." (AMOS 3:7)

The Prophets of Israel prophesied in over a dozen texts of THE REPLANTING of ISRAEL as a Nation - something that was not fulfilled until 1948. (EZEKIEL 36:24) (AMOS 9:13-15) (JEREMIAH 31:1-9)

Jesus said, "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His Angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His Elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn this parable from the Fig Tree: When it's branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS, KNOW THAT IT IS NEAR - AT THE DOORS! Assuredly I say to you, THIS GENERATION WILL BY NO MEANS PASS AWAY TILL ALL THESE THINGS TAKE PLACE." (MATTHEW 24:30-34)

The Apostle Peter also wrote: "And so we have THE PROPHETIC WORD CONFIRMED, WHICH YOU DO WELL TO HEED AS A LIGHT THAT SHINES IN A DARK PLACE..." (II PETER 1:19)

People today look to Political Forecasters, Palm Readers and Mystics to tell them about what's coming in the future, but YAHWEH says to Mankind:

"Present your case... bring forth your reasons... Let them bring forth and SHOW US WHAT WILL HAPPEN; Let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them; or DECLARE TO US THINGS TO COME. SHOW THE THINGS THAT ARE TO COME HEREAFTER, that we may know you are gods..." (ISAIAH 41:21-23)

Only YAHWEH has a perfect record of forecasting the Future: "Remember the former things of old, FOR I AM GOD and there is no other; I AM GOD and there is none like ME - DECLARING THE END from THE BEGINNING & from ancient times, THINGS THAT ARE NOT YET DONE..." (ISAIAH 46:9,10)

So what of this ROLE of WATCHMAN? Ezekiel was inspired by YAHWEH to write:

"Again the word of YAHWEH came to me, saying, 'Son of Man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: When I bring the sword upon a Land, and the people of the Land take a man from their territory and make him their WATCHMAN, when he sees the sword coming upon the Land, IF HE BLOWS THE TRUMPET and WARNS THE PEOPLE, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.
But if the WATCHMAN sees the sword coming AND DOES NOT BLOW THE TRUMPET and THE PEOPLE ARE NOT WARNED, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them - he is taken away in his iniquity - BUT HIS BLOOD I WILL REQUIRE AT THE WATCHMAN'S HAND.'" (EZEKIEL 33:1-6)

Jonah was sent as a WATCHMAN to the great city of Nineveh to "...cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before ME," said YAHWEH. (JONAH 1:2) But instead, "Jonah arose to flee to Tarshishfrom the presence of YAHWEH." (JONAH 1:3) After GOD got Jonah's attention by having him swallowed up by a great fish and coughed up on the shores of Assyria, Jonah went to Nineveh and played the role of WATCHMAN saying, "Yet forty days & Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed GOD, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them...then GOD saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and GOD relented from the disaster that HE had said HE would bring upon them, and HE did not do it." (JONAH 3:4,5,10)

Your Bible says: "Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Surely we did not know this." Does not HE who weighs the hearts consider it? HE who keeps your soul, does he not know it? And will HE not render to each man according to his deeds? (PROVERBS 24:11,12) Did you learn what GOD says about the future in HIS word? Did you WATCH world events to see how HIS word is being fulfilled? And did you WARN?

Concerning the last book in your Bible (which is all about the future) GOD says: "BLESSED IS HE WHO READS and THOSE WHO HEAR the words of THIS PROPHECY (Revelation), and KEEPS THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN IT; for the time is near." (REVELATION 1:3)

The book of Revelation ties together all the prophecies of the Old Testament, and helps us identify the last World Ruling Empire which is prophesied to be empowered by Satan the Devil (REV.13:2) and to "make war with the Saints and overcome them." (REVELATION 13:7)

Jesus said, "WATCH therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. BUT KNOW THIS, that if the master of the house had known what hour (WATCH of THE NIGHT) the thief would come, HE WOULD HAVE WATCHED and not allowed his house to be broken into.Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (MATTHEW 24:42,44)

The Apostle Paul had to remind some who thought Christ's return was imminent, or had already come, "Now brethren, CONCERNING THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST and our gathering together to Him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though THE DAY of CHRIST had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for THAT DAY will not come unless THE FALLING AWAY COMES FIRST, and THE MAN of SIN is revealed, the SON of PERDITION..." (II THESSALONIANS 2:1-3)

The PROPHETIC PORTRAIT of THE FUTURE contains SEVERAL CLEAR SIGNS we should be WATCHING for - so let's LEARN THEM - so that we can WARN anyone who will listen!

Can you prove there is a CREATOR of this Earth and Cosmos? Does logic and common sense dictate a belief in Deity? Does it take any more faith to believe that excavation of the Earth will one day reveal the mountain of missing links revealing the ascent of amoebas to anthropoids – than it does to believe that such single cell organisms and complex creatures such as Man were designed by a GREAT DESIGNER?

Down through the centuries – millions of Christians have been challenged by Atheists & Agnostics to prove their belief in GOD. If you personally haven’t been challenged yet – your day is coming – and the Apostle Peter was inspired to write:

“… Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you , with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” (I PETER 3:15 NKJV)

So what would your defense be – if you were asked to explain your belief in the GOD of the Bible? Well you could take the Apostle Paul’s approach and say:

“…What may be known of GOD is manifest in them, for GOD has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world HIS INVISIBLE ATTRIBUTES ARE CLEARLY SEEN, being understood by the things that are made, even HIS ETERNAL POWER & DIVINE NATURE, so that they are without excuse.” (ROMANS 1:19,20 NKJV)

King David understood that the existence of GOD is clearly seen in ourselves: The complex and interdependent systems of the Human Body:

“I will praise YOU, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (PSALM 139:14 NKJV)

The first human life began when GOD breathed into Adam’s lungs the breath of life (GENESIS 2:7) through a complex respiratory system which is made up of a pair of lungs containing millions of small air sacs called alveoli - and he became a living being. The oxygen Adam took in had to be absorbed into his blood and transported throughout his body in a complex arterial circulation system. Through those first few breaths, Adam became awake and alert, rising up most likely from the prostate position he was formed in - to a sitting position & ultimately standing upright – all of which required complex skeletal, muscle, and nervous systems to all be in place. Adam then began taking in his world through 5 senses, sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste – all very complex processes in themselves. As he grew hungry and took in his first food – Adam had to have in place - intricate digestion and excretion systems which would take nourishment into his body and carry the waste out of his body.

The idea that Humans could have evolved into such complete functioning living beings with any of these bodily systems partially developed or missing – is as absurd as thinking that a car can run off an assembly line without pistons, carburetors, or head gaskets fully evolved into working parts & fully installed!

This is what the Apostle Paul means in saying that THE EXISTENCE of GOD is clearly seen in ‘THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE .’

And all we’ve discussed so far are the complex systems making up the Human body. What about the position of our planet in relation to the sun & our solar system’s position in relation to our galaxy, which Science tells us is optimal for life to exist? What about the fact that Earth’s atmosphere contains just the right mix of nitrogen (78%) and Oxygen (21 %) necessary for life to flourish? And why is the Earth so full of water (essential to life), yet virtually absent from all the other planets in our solar system? All this speaks to a peculiarity (the Anthropic Principle) that our world seems inexplicably tuned to support life!

A 10th century Islamic Philosopher named Avicenna reasoned that everything in the Universe seems contingent (dependent for survival) on something else. Breathing is contingent upon there being just the right mix of oxygen in the Atmosphere. Plant life is contingent upon there being a sun in just the right proximity to the earth, and just the right size and strength, to perpetuate photosynthesis. All of which means, argued Avicenna, that there must be A NON-CONTINGENT BEING that EVERYTHING is DEPENDENT ON . And that’s exactly what the Bible tells us:

“Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water?” (JOB 8:11)

“…UPHOLDING all things by the word of His power…” (HEBREWS 1:3 NKJV)

“…In Him all things CONSIST.” (COLOSSIANS 1:17 NKJV)

In 1996, the Free Press published a book by Lehigh University Biochemist Michael Behe entitled Darwin’s Black Box: ‘The biomechanical challenge to Evolution’ – making the point that many biological systems are IRREDUCIBLY COMPLEX at the molecular level. For example – all the components of a living cell must be present for it to function: The Plasma membrane acts as the border or skin of the cell and is composed of a thin coat of lipids. Cytoplasm is the material inside the Plasma membrane made up of a watery substance called cytosol. Ribosomes are structures in the Cytoplasm where proteins are made. DNA is a nucleic acid also found in cells containing the genetic instructions that make a cell into what it is intended to be: a flower, tree, or animal. Reduce the cell of any of its parts and it doesn’t function and multiply into complex life.

13th Century Catholic scholar, Thomas Aquinas, argued thatall around us things are in motionfromthe smallest living cells to giant supernovas -everything in the Universe moves.Nothing can move of itself, therefore there must be a 1st Mover, GOD. Scripture backs this up:

“In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; And THE SPIRIT of GOD MOVED upon the face of the waters.” (GENESIS 1:1,2)

“For in HIM we live and MOVE and have our being…” (ACTS 17:28 NKJV)

Thomas Acquinas also argued, thatfor every EFFECT in the world (matter, energy, light) –there has to be a CAUSE -since no EFFECT can exist without a CAUSE.Therefore, there must be a 1st CAUSER, or godlike figure to bring about the EFFECT of the UNIVERSE. Your Bible uses the word CAUSE over 300 times, many of which are speaking of GOD as the CAUSER:

“And YAHOVAH GOD CAUSED a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and HE took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which YAHOVAH GOD had taken from man, HE made into a woman, and HE brought her to the man.” (GENESIS 2:21,22 NKJV)

“For after 7 more days I WILL CAUSE it to rain on the Earth 40 days and 40 nights, and I will destroy from the face of the Earth all living things that I have made.” (GENESIS 7:4 NKJV)

The priestly Aquinas reasoned further, thatthere are DEGREES of BEING (from least to greatest) in ALL THINGS. The greatest in any class or species is THE HIGHEST of all in THAT CLASS. Mankind is THE HIGHEST in the class of ANIMALS that walk this earth having dominion over all in the Animal Kingdom (GENESIS 1:26). Having been made in the image of GOD (GENESIS 1:27), Man is also in the GOD CLASS of beings (II PETER 1:4, EPHESIANS 3:19), in which YAHOVAH is THE MOST HIGH:

“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is GOD.” (I CORINTHIANS 11:3 NKJV) (GOD MOST HIGH: GEN.14:19)

Throughout the Universe we see DESIGN that is both beautiful & functional , instead of amorphous (having no pattern or structure)and chaotic. Such form,structure,and aesthetic beauty that we see inthe Cosmos, plant-life,and the animal kingdom demand a DESIGNER – YAHOVAH:

“Where were you (Job) when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell ME if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! To what were its foundations fastened?”… Or who shut in the Sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; when I fixed MY limit for it, and set bars and doors; when I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!’” (JOB 38:4,5 NKJV)

The Scientific hypothesis ‘BIOGENESIS’ ( Living Matter arises ONLY from other Living Matter) is a universally accepted truth. However, Science also recognizes the constant decay of all Matter (1st Law of Thermodynamics: ENTROPY), demanding that the 1st Living Matter had a beginning. Therefore, the 1st LIVING MATTER was brought into being by someone or something not made of MATTER:

“By FAITH we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of GOD, so that the things which are seen (matter) – were not made of things which are visible.” (HEBREWS 11:3 NKJV)

Then there are the NON-PHYSICAL LAWS which govern the movement of ALL PHYSICAL THINGS . Just as Science has failed to explain how matter and energy can evolve from nothing, they have also been unable to explain how INVISIBLE NATURAL LAWS came into action throughout the Universe. The existence of LAWS demand a LAWGIVER, YAHOVAH:

“…YAHOVAH is OUR LAWGIVER…” (ISAIAH 33:22 NKJV)

“There is ONE LAWGIVER, who is able to save and destroy.” (JAMES 4:12 NKJV)

And where did language come from ? There are some theories, but Linguists don’t have fossils to trace the past, the way Archaeologists do. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language states:

“Every Culture which has been investigated, no matter how ‘primitive’ it may be in cultural terms, turns out to have a fully developed language, with a complexity comparable to those of the so-called ‘civilized’ nations.”

Of course the Bible tells us the origin of languages was at Babel (GENESIS 11:1-9), where GOD intervened to stop their building project & fulfill HIS command to go forth and fill the Earth (GEN.1:28)

Why is there so much symmetry in nature ? Snowflakes exhibit 6-fold radial symmetry, with elaborate, identical patterns on each branch. “For HE says to the snow, ‘Fall on the Earth.’ (JOB 37:6 NKJV)

Sunflowers exhibit radial symmetry & numerical symmetry known as the Fibonacci sequence (each number is determined by adding together the 2 numbers that preceded it – ie: 1,2,3,5,8,13,21). Botanists have found that many plants produce leaves, pedals and seeds in the Fibonacci sequence. The shell of a Nautilus Mollusk showcases a Fibonacci spiral.

Romanesco broccoli is one of many instances of Fractal Symmetry in Nature. In geometric terms, fractals are complex patterns where each individual component has the same pattern as the whole object. Each floret of Romanesco broccoli is a miniaturized version of the whole head’s logarithmic spiral.

“I AM YAHOVAH, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the Earth by MYSELF.” (ISAIAH 44:24 NKJV)

The BIBLE is unique among all books on Earth! Unique in its conveyance, compilation, circulation, and preservation! The Bible was written over a period of almost 2000 years, through 40 different people, recording the word of GOD in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic), with a continuity of message that sounds like one person dictated it (which was the case – that one person being YAHOVAH). 

In fact many of its pages begin with the famous phrase “THUS SAYS YAHOVAH.” Even Jesus credited HIS FATHER as the source of all He spoke, saying:

“For I have not spoken on My own authority; but THE FATHER who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that HIS command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as THE FATHER has told Me, so I speak.” (JOHN 12:49,50 NKJV)

The Apostle Peter said the same thing about the Prophets, whom GOD dictated HIS word to:

“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of Man, but holy men of GOD spoke as they were moved by the HOLY SPIRIT. (I PET.1:19-21)

From a GOD who is called UNIQUE in your Bible (JOB 23:13), one would expect to find knowledge that is unique: INFORMATION that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth at the time it was REVEALED! And that’s exactly what the Bible says:

The secret things belong to YAHOVAH our GOD, but those things which are revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this Law.” (DT.29:29 NKJV)

Here’s some examples of SECRET THINGS revealed in the BIBLE that have only been corroborated by Science in the modern Age:

“It is HE who sits above THE CIRCLE of THE EARTH, its inhabitants are like grass-hoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain & spreads them out like a tent to dwell in (ISA.40:22)

When YAHOVAH addressed Job in his Self-righteousness, HE took the opportunity to humble mankind as well, by giving insights about the Earth and Cosmos that here-to-for had not been known:

“HE stretches out the North over empty space; HE hangs the Earth on nothing. (JOB 26:7)

By what way is light diffused, or the East wind scattered over the Earth?” (JOB 38:24 NKJV)

“Have you entered the Springs of the Sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?” (JOB38:16 NKJV) 1977 World’s 1st Deep Sea Submarine (Alvin) discovers 1st ocean hot spring

“Behold, GOD IS GREAT, and we do not know HIM; nor can the number of HIS years be discovered. For HE draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on Man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from HIS canopy? Look, HE scatters HIS light upon it, and covers the depths of the Sea. For by these HE judges the peoples; HE gives food in abundance. HE covers HIS hands with lightning, and commands it to strike. His thunder declares it, the cattle also, what is rising.” (JOB 36:26-31 NKJV)

“For HE looks to the ends of the Earth, and sees under the whole heavens, to establish a weight for the wind, and apportion the waters by measure.” (JOB 28:24,25) Verified by Galileo 1613

No comparable insights into the Cosmos & Meteorology can be found in any other writings of Antiquity.

And how did Moses, who is credited with writing Torah, including the book of Genesis, know that of allthe 205 bones in the human bodyonly the rib is regenerative – which is what GOD took from Adam to make Eve?

The Apostle Paul is thought by most Theologians to be the author of the book of Hebrews, and HE was inspired to write by GOD - this advanced view of our molecular world:

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of GOD, so that THE THINGS WHICH ARE SEEN WERE NOT MADE OF THINGS WHICH AREVISIBLE. (HEB.11:3)

You may not be aware of the secret things revealed in your Bible about Human Hygiene & Health:

“And when he who has a discharge (bowels, skin oozing) is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself 7 days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean.” (LEVITICUS 15:13 NKJV) American Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1850’s) 1st documented recommendation of hand-washing by Health Workers to prevent disease.

“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare… He is unclean and shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.” (LEVITICUS 13:45,46 NKJV) QUARANTINE did not come into wide spread use until the 17th Century, when it was invoked by Italian Ports to isolate all incoming ships in the Harbor for 40 days to prevent the spread of Black Plague. 

You shall not eat meat torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.” (EX.22:31) Dutch Scientist Antonie Philips Van Leeuwenhoek (Father of Microbiology – 17th Century) 1st to document microscopic observations of BACTERIA. 

“Moreover, you shall not eat any blood in any of your dwellings, whether of bird or beast.” (LEVITICUS 7:26 NKJV) 

You shall not eat any fat, of ox or sheep or goat.” (LEVITCUS 7:23 NKJV) Only in recent decades have Nutritionists determined that fat clogs arteries & contributes to heart disease.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” (LEVITICUS 17:11 NKJV) It wasn’t till 1616 that William Harvey discovered that blood circulation is the key factor in physical life.

“He who is 8 days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations…” (GENESIS 17:12 NKJV) Medical Science has discovered that the blood clotting chemical prothrombin in Human blood plasma – peaks in a newborn on the 8th day.

A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” (PROVERBS 14:30) Psychology is a relatively young Science – but research shows the positive or negative influence of our emotions upon our health. Psychosomatic illness is a physical illness that is caused or notably influenced by emotional factors (such as envy).

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (PR.17:22)

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul & health to the bones.” (PR.16:24)

“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart & a good report makes the bones healthy.” (PR.15:30)

ETHICS is the study of how we can move most constructively in relation to GOD, Neighbor & Self. And it can be demonstrated from research & reality that the JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ETHICS revealed through the Bible – are the most conducive to happy, healthy relationships – of any system on Earth.

LEVITICUS 26 & DEUTERONOMY 28 are called the BLESSINGS & CURSINGS chapters for Nations God promises to prosper any Nation in the Field, in the City, and in the Womb if it embraces & practices JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ETHICS - and curse any Nation in the Field, City, and Womb that doesn’t. 

Even a cursory look at History shows that the Biblically led Nations of Europe & the Americas have been more prosperous in the Field, City and womb - than Nations with other philosophical or religious based Ethics.

According to the latest United Nations Human Development reporton 200 of the World’s Nations, which considers factors like life-expectancy, education, gender equality and financial wealth, in ranking the best Nations on Earth to live11 of the top 12 Nations are predominantly Christian – Singapore being the lone exception (where Buddhism is the predominant religion, followed by Christianity). 

One of the reasons for the high Christian Nation Showing in such reports - is the JUDEO-CHRISTIAN WORK ETHIC revealed in the pages of your Bible - the foundation of economic success:

6 days you shall labor and do all your work…” (EXODUS 20:9 NKJV)

Whatever your hand finds to dodo it with your might…” (ECCLESIASTES 9:10 NKJV) 

“…If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat…” (II THESSALONIANS 3:10 NKJV)

According to a TIME MAGAZINE report on THE MOST PRODUCTIVE COUNTRIES IN THEWORLD24 of the top 25 Nations are Christian Nations of the West. Only Japan cracked the top 25 Most Productive Nations at #24.

Of course there are many more JUDEO CHRISTIAN ETHICS contributing to the success of Christian Nations:

“You shall not steal.” (EXODUS 20:15 NKJV)

“You shall have honest scales, honest weights…I AM YAHOVAH your GOD…” (LEV.19:36)

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (EXODUS 20:16 NKJV)

“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before Kings…” (PROVERBS 22:29)

It truly seems to be reality, that what King David wrote thousands of years ago – is true today: “BLESSED is THE NATION whose GOD is YAHOVAH.” (PSALM 33:12 NKJV) Because they have received a book with secret instruction on how to best conduct business and personal relationships!

In about 1/3 of your Bible there are secret forecasts of the future, further validating its Divine Origins. For instance, there are over 60 prophecies about the coming Messiah – which Jesus fulfilled!

Including: His birthplace (Bethlehem, MICAH 5:2 – MT. 2:1); His lineage (GEN.12:3 – MT.1:2) Hiscelebrated entry into Jerusalem on a colt (ZECHARIAH 9:9 – MATTHEW 21:7-10); His betrayal forthe price of 30 pieces of silver (ZECHARIAH 11:12,13 – MATTHEW26:15); the casting of lots for Hisclothing (PSALM 22:18 – MATTHEW 27:35); His death by crucifixion (PSALM 22:16 – LUKE 24:39); and His resurrection (PSALM 132:11 – ACTS 2:29-31).

The Bible also forecast the enslavement of Abraham’s descendants in Egypt for 400 years (GEN. 15:13); Israel’s deliverance from that bondage in Egypt (GEN.15:14 – EXODUS 12:40,41); Israel’s 70 year Babylonian captivity (JEREMIAH 25:11) and their return to rebuild Jerusalem (EZRA 1:1-4); the destruction of the temple (DANIEL 9:26) and the replanting of Israel as a Nation in the modern age (JEREMIAH 30:3)

There have been 7 MAJOR EMPIRES rise and fall in the Middle East over the past 4000 years – and your Bible forecast 4 of them – hundreds of years in advance! YAHOVAH gave the prophet Daniel an interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream saying in chapter 2:39,40:

“…After you (Nebuchadnezzar) shall arise another kingdom (Persia) inferior to yours; then another, a 3rd kingdom of bronze (Greece), which shall rule over all the earth. And the 4th kingdom (Islam) shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.”

No other book on Earth is filled with such detailed, accurate forecasts of the future! The wisest, smartest Human Beings can’t see the future, and mostly guess at the past.

So ALMIGHTY GOD challenges the intellectually elite, the philosophers, the prognosticators of our world, saying:

“PRESENT YOUR CASE,’ says YAHOVAH. ‘Bring forth your strong reasons,’ says THE KING of Jacob. ‘Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and see it together. Indeed, you are nothing, and your work is nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.” (ISAIAH 41:21-24)

It’s high time the Bible was given the respect it is due – as the revelation of YAHOVAH MOST HIGH about the true state of our World & Cosmos, the best set of Ethics to live by, and the most accurate view of History and the future!

Did you know that the Rubik's Cube has been a great mystery for decades. Now you can learn to solve it easily with the beginner's method.

ALMIGHTY GOD said about the City of Nineveh – that there were over 120,000 people living there – “ WHO CAN NOT DISCERN BETWEEN THEIR RIGHT HAND & THEIR LEFT .”

Your bible says that GOD’S EYES OBSERVE THE NATIONS (PSALM 66:7) – so how do you think GOD would rate the level of DISCERNMENT in Washington D.C.? San Francisco? Or Sacramento?

Every Human Being every day is forced to DISCERN between primary & secondary priorities, proper clothing for the events & weather of the day, situations to avoid or embrace, what food & drink to consume…

So DISCERNMENT is WISDOM on DISPLAY , WISDOM in MOTION – because how well we DISCERN between 2 courses of action, between Heresy or Truth, or between the Accused & the Accuser, - indicates to a great extent – just how WISE we are…

Every year – high profile court cases like that of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, or the latest cop shooting of a black man – force people to DISCERN between guilt & innocence.

The recent accusations made against Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh – forced everyone in our Nation to DISCERN between the credibility of the Accused & the Accuser . Such Media Focused events polarize the Country, test our objectivity, and our understanding of “Due Process.”

Solomon, who the Bible touts as the wisest man who ever lived (besides Jesus), was petitioned by Israeli citizens of his day to hear many of their grievances against one another: One such incident recorded in (I KINGS 3:16-28) is probably known to most of you… Jewish tradition also relates… Flowers story

Of course this level of wisdom is exactly what Solomon asked for – when YAHOVEH told him as a youth to ask of HIM anything – and it would be granted:

“Now, O YAHOVEH my GOD, YOU have made your servant King instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And YOUR servant is in the midst of YOUR people whom YOU have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to YOUR servant an understanding heart to JUDGE YOUR people , that I may DISCERN BETWEEN GOOD & EVIL.” (I KINGS 3:9,10 NKJV)

ALMIGHTY GOD makes you & I the same offer:

If any of you lacks WISDOM, let him ask of GOD, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the Sea driven & tossed by the wind.” (JAMES 1:5,6 NKJV)

And King David himself was no slouch when it came to WISDOM & DISCERNMENT:

“For as the Angel of GOD, so is my lord the King in DISCERNING GOOD & EVIL .” (II SAMUEL 14:17 NKJV)

While we cannot see the Spiritual Realm, as Angles can, we can ask GOD for the gift of DISCERNING of SPIRITS (I CORINTHIANS 12:10)

The Apostle John wrote concerning this gift:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, butTEST THE SPIRITS, WHETHER THEY are of GOD; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I JOHN 4:1)

But exactly how do we TEST THE SPIRITS behind the myriad of Bible Teachers & Preachers out there?

We don’t have to guess – Jesus Himself tells us prophetically from the Old Testament:

“He (Jesus) will be as a sanctuary, but a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense, to both the Houses of Israel, as a trap & a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall & be broken, be snared & taken.Bind up the Testimony, seal the Law among My disciples. And I will wait on YAHOVEH, who hides HIS face from the House of Jacob; And I will hope in HIM. Here am I and the children whom YAHOVEH has given Me! We are for signs & wonders in Israel from YAHOVEH of HOSTS, WHO dwells in Mount Zion. AndWHEN THEY SAY TO YOUSEEK THOSE WHO ARE MEDIUMS & WIZARDS, who whisper & mutter, SHOULD NOT a PEOPLE SEEK THEIR GOD? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?TO THE LAW & THE TESTIMONY!If they do not speakaccording to THIS WORD, it is because there is no light in them.” (ISAIAH 8:14-20 NKJV)

DISCERNING THE SPIRITS behind Human Beings who claim to represent GOD , or to know other ways to insight, happiness, and salvation – is simply a matter of checking what they say by the one true standard - which is GOD’S LAW & TESTIMONY to Mankind, THE BIBLE:

“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘let us go after other gods’ – which you have not known – ‘and let us serve them,’ YOU SHALL NOT LISTEN TO THE WORDS of THAT PROPHET or THAT DREAMER of DREAMS, for YAHOVEH your GOD is TESTING you – to know whether you love YAHOVEH your GOD with all your heart & with all your soul.You shall walk after YAHOVEH your GOD and fear HIM,and KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTSand OBEY HIS VOICE; you shall serve HIM and hold fast to HIM. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death.” (DT.13:1-5)

And lest you think this is only an Old Testament teaching and standard – here’s what Christ’ beloved Apostle was inspired to write in the New Testament:

He who says, ‘I know Him (Jesus),and does not keep His commandments,is a liar, and THE TRUTH IS NOT IN HIM.” (I JOHN 2:4)

That’s why GOD ALMIGHTY inspired Solomon to write:

WHOEVER KEEPS THE LAWis a DISCERNING SON…” (PROVERBS 28:7)

“Then you shall againDISCERN between THE RIGHTEOUS and THE WICKED, betweenONE WHO SERVES GOD, and ONE WHO DOES NOT SERVE HIM.” (MALACHI 3:18)

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Thessalonica, exhorting them to:

TEST ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST WHAT is GOOD .” (I THESSALONIANS 5:21 NKJV)

And Jesus in His message to the Church at Ephesus, praised those:

“…who cannot bear those who are evil,” and “HAVE TESTED THOSE WHO SAY THEY ARE APOSTLES and ARE NOT, and have found them liars.” (REVELATION 2:2 NKJV)

Of course in order to do all this TESTING, and PROVING of who is representing GOD and who isn’t – YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE WORD of GOD! But sadly - most Christians don’t have more than a cursory, superficial grasp of Scripture which makes them easy to deceive. If Jesus personally handed you a copy of the Bible & said study this 10,000 hours or you’ll be lead astray, would you make time to do it?

The book of Proverbs tells us:

“…If you receive MY WORDS, and treasure MY COMMANDS within you, so that you incline your ear to WISDOM, and apply your heart to UNDERSTANDING; yes, if YOU CRY OUT FOR DISCERNMENT, and lift up your voice for understanding, IF YOU SEEK HER asSILVER, and SEARCH FOR HER as for HIDDEN TREASURES; then you will understand the fear of YAHOVEH, and find the knowledge of GOD.” (PROVERBS 2:1-5 NKJV)

Most Christians are spiritually lazy and don’t want to take the time to PROVE ALL THINGS. The Apostle Paul warned:

“…we should no longer be children,tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE…” (EPHESIANS 4:14-15 NKJV)

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the Oracles of GOD (Scripture); and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness (the Bible), for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age (mature), that is, THOSE WHOBY REASON of USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXERCISED TO DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL.” (HEBREWS 5:12-14)

Jesus chided the Scribes & Pharisees, saying:

“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know to discern the face of the sky, BUT YOU CANNOT DISCERN THE SIGNS of THE TIMES.” (MATTHEW 16:2,3 NKJV)

Isn’t it paradoxical that all Christians watch weather forecasts on a regular basis in order to make social and business plans, but very few Christians will take the time to study prophecy in light of World events! Consequently, most Christians, just like the Scribes & Pharisees, CANNOT DISCERN THE SIGNS of THE TIMES WE’RE LIVING IN !

“…a wise man’s heart DISCERNS BOTH TIME and JUDGMENT.” (ECCLESIASTES 8:5)

The Apostle Peter warned:

“…that you may b e mindful of the words which were spoken by the Holy Prophets … But the ‘Day of YAHOVEH’ will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the Earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, WHAT MANNER of PERSONS OUGHT YOU TO BE IN HOLY CONDUCT & GODLINESS – LOOKING FOR & HASTENING THE COMING OF THE DAY of GOD?’ (II PETER 3:2, 10-12)

Jesus said: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape ALL THESETHINGS THAT WILL COME TO PASS & TO STAND BEFORE THE SON of MAN.” (LK.21:36)

“And this I (Paul) pray, that your love may abound still more & more in KNOWLEDGE and all DISCERNMENT, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense TILL THE DAY of CHRIST, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of GOD.” (PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11 NKJV)

Throughout your Bible – GOD continually contrasts LIGHT with DARKNESS... Scripture tells us that YAHOVEH’s followers WALK in THE LIGHT of HIS WORD – and that followers of Satan WALK in DARKNESS:

“The WAY of the Wicked is like DARKNESS; they do not know what makes them stumble.” (PROVERBS 4:19 NKJV)

“…The FOOL walks in DARKNESS…” (ECCLESIASTES 2:14 NKJV)

The light of the Wicked indeed goes out, and the flame of his fire does not shine. The light is dark in his tent, and his lamp beside him is put out. The steps of his strength are shortened, and his own counsel casts him down. For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks into a snare.” (JOB 18:5-8 NKJV)

“Who among you fears YAHOVEH? Who obeys the voice of HIS Servant (Jesus)? Who walks in DARKNESS and has no LIGHT? Let him trust in the name of YAHOVEH and rely upon his GOD.” (ISAIAH 50:10 NKJV)

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that GOD IS LIGHT and IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL. If we say that we have fellowship with HIM, and walk in DARKNESS, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (I JOHN 1:5,6 NKJV)

So are LIGHT and DARKNESS just empty metaphors – or do they really signify something specific that GOD wants us to be aware of? According to your Bible, these words both have great symbolic meaning:

“And have no fellowship with THE UNFRUITFUL WORKS of DARKNESS – but rather expose them.” (EPHESIANS 5:11 NKJV)

But to EXPOSE them – Christians must be aware of what constitutes DARKNESS:

“…We look for LIGHT, but there is DARKNESS! For BRIGHNESS, but we walk in BLACKNESS! We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight… For our transgressions are multiplied before YOU, and our sins testify against us… in transgressing andlying against YAHOVEH, and departing from our GOD,speaking oppression & revolt,conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.Justice is turned back, andrighteousness stands afar off; fortruth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” (ISAIAH 59:9,10, 13,14 NKJV)

“Woe to those who call EVIL – GOOD, and GOOD –EVIL; who put DARKNESS for LIGHT, and LIGHT for DARKNESS; who put BITTER for SWEET, and SWEET for BITTER. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty atdrinking wine, woe tomen valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man. Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble & the flame consumes the chaff, so their root will be as rottenness & their blossom will ascend like dust: because they have rejected THE LAW of YAHOVEH…” (ISAIAH 5:20-24)

“Woe to you who desire THE DAY of YAHOVEH! For what good is THE DAY of YAHOVEH to you? It will be DARKNESS and NOT LIGHT. It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him! Is not THE DAY of YAHOVEH DARKNESS, and NOT LIGHT? Is it not VERY DARK, with NO BRIGHTNESS in it? (AMOS 5:18-20 NKJV)

By contrast to those who WALK in DARKNESS – GOD’S people WALK in LIGHT:

“Do all things without complaining & disputing, that you may be blameless & harmless, children of GOD without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom YOU SHINE AS LIGHTS in the world, holding fast the word of life…” (PHILIPPIANS 2:14-16)

“YOUR WORD is a LAMP to my feet, and A LIGHT to my path.” (PSALM 119:105 NKJV)

“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, YOUR WHOLE BODY also is FULL of LIGHT. But when your eye is bad , your body also is FULL of DARKNESS. If then your whole body is FULL of LIGHT, having NO PART DARK , the whole body will be FULL of LIGHT, as when the bright shining of lamp gives you light.” (LUKE 11:34-36)

“The night is far spent, the Day is at hand. Therefore LET US CAST OFF THE WORKS of DARKNESS, and LET US PUT ON THE ARMOR OF LIGHT. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry & drunkenness, not inlewdness & lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ & make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (ROMANS 13:12-14)

“For you were once DARKNESS, but now you are LIGHT in THE LORD. WALK as CHILDREN of LIGHT (for the fruit of THE SPIRIT is in all GOODNESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and TRUTH), finding out what is acceptable to YAHOVEH.” (EPHESIANS 5:8-10 NKJV)

“For GOD did not send HIS Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of GOD. And this is the condemnation, that the LIGHT HAS COME INTO THE WORLD, and men lovedDARKNESS rather than LIGHT, because their deeds were EVIL. For everyone practicing EVIL hates THE LIGHT and does not come to THE LIGHT, lest his deeds be exposed. But HE WHO DOES THE TRUTH comes to THE LIGHT, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in GOD.” (JOHN 3:17-21 NKJV)

“For you yourselves know perfectly that THE DAY of YAHOVEH so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace & Safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But YOU BRETHREN ARE NOT IN DARKNESS, so that THIS DAY should overtake you as a thief. YOU ARE ALL SONS OF LIGHT and SONS of THE DAY. WE ARE NOT OF THE NIGHT nor of DARKNESS. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us WATCH & BE SOBER.” (I THESS.5:2-6)

HE will GUARD THE FEET of THE SAINTS – but THE WICKED shall be silent in DARKNESS.” (II SAMUEL 2:9 NKJV)

In the blockbuster movie INDIANA JONES & THE LAST CRUSADE – Indiana has to pass through 3 obstacles to fetch the Holy Grail with its healing waters - to save his father’s life. As he approaches the 1st obstacle he sees a narrow pathway littered with decapitated bodies of those who have failed before him. He pulls out his father’s pocket notebook containing clues on how to advance safely through each gateway and reads the words out-loud: ONLY THE PENITENT MAN WILL PASS… As he slowly approaches the severed bodies before him, he verbalizes what he’s thinking: The Penitent Man is humble before GOD, the Penitent Man kneels before GOD… KNEEL – which he does immediately, along with a tuck & roll, avoiding the rotating saws that lurch outward from the walls on either side of him.

A Penitent Man (according to our Bibles)is someone who comes to realize he’s been believing andfollowing men instead of GOD,is devastated by his error,asks GOD’S forgiveness, and dedicates his new life to GOD’S service. Ironically, our Bibles also tell us that only the Penitent Man will pass from death to life :

Zion, shall be redeemed with justice & Her Penitents with Righteousness.” (ISAIAH 1:27)

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted…” (II COR.7:10)

“Most assuredly, I (Jesus) say to you, he who hears My word and BELIEVES in HIM who sent Me, has eternal life, and shall not come into judgment, BUT HAS PASSED FROM DEATH to LIFE.” (JOHN 5:24 NKJV)

“And besides all this, between us (Abraham & Lazarus) and you (the Rich man) THERE IS A GREAT GULF FIXED, so that those who want to PASS from here to you cannot, nor can those from there PASS to us.” (LUKE 16:26 NKJV)

I AM THE DOOR. If anyone enters by Me, he WILL BE SAVED.” (JOHN 10:9 NKJV)

“GOD resists the proud, BUT GIVES GRACE to the HUMBLE.” (I PETER 5:5 NKJV)

These are but a few of the Biblical Texts which tell us that it isPENITENT PEOPLE WHO WILL PASS from DEATH to ETERNAL LIFE – not the outwardly religious (Pharisees), or the intellectually elite, or those who pursue the Occult.

How important is this attribute of PENITENCE? ALMIGHTY GOD said to King Josiah:

BECAUSE YOUR HEART was PENITENT, and you humbled yourself before YAHOVEH, when you heard how I spoke against this place (Jerusalem), and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before ME, I also have heard you, says YAHOVEH. Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace;your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place.” (II KINGS 22:19,20 NRSV)

Jesus once contrasted A PENITENT MAN with A PHARISEE, saying:

“2 men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a Tax-collector. The Pharisee stood & prayed thus with himself, ‘GOD, I thank YOU that I am not like other men – extortioners unjust, adulterers, or even as this Tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the Tax-collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘ GOD, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (LUKE 18:10-14 NKJV)

Sometimes it takes a great act of GOD (a miracle) to create A PENITENT MAN:

“When He (Jesus) had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’ And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, FOR I AM A SINFUL MAN, O Lord!’” (LUKE 5:4-8 NKJV)

Story of a man who skipped an Evening Worship Service because he just couldn’t wrap his mind around GOD being manifested in the flesh as Jesus…

Such ‘Aha’ moments – we’ve all experienced – and were hopefully humbled through experiencing the hand of GOD in our own personal lives.

At this point it’s important to distinguish between PENITENCE which we’ve seen is Biblical - and PENANCEwhich is NOT! PENANCE is working off the penalty of one’s own sins – something Christ did for us! While PENITENCE is the humble acknowledgment & appreciation for Jesus taking our place on death row – and then becoming GOD’S servant as He did.

The word BELIEF in the days of THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS meant a lot more than an intellectual acknowledgement that Jesus was the Son of GOD.In the Hebrew Culture of that day, to believe in someone was to FOLLOW THE WAY of LIFE of the one you believed in !

That’s why Jesus said,

Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow Me.” (MARK 8:34 NKJV)

FOR TO THIS YOU WERE CALLED , because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, THAT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth;’ Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to HIM who judges righteously; Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness…” (I PETER 2:21-24 NKJV)

And lest we think this impossible – the Apostle John was inspired to write:

WHOEVER ABIDES in HIM (Jesus), DOES NOT SIN. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous; just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of Man was manifested that He might destroy the works of the Devil. WHOEVER HAS BEEN BORN of GOD DOES NOT SIN, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of GOD. In this the children of GOD and the children of the Devil are manifest; Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of GOD, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (I JOHN 3:6-11 NKJV)

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of GOD, who loved me & gave Himself for me.” (GALATIANS 2:20 NKJV)

The Anniversary of 9-11 is an annual reminder to all Americans – that we live in a dangerous and unpredictable World! TERROR can strike anytime, anywhere – and leave a path of carnage in its wake.

Yet according to Jesus – this is just “… the beginning of sorrows” (MATTHEW 24:8)

What comes next, our Savior called GREAT TRIBULATIONa time of GLOBAL TROUBLE, “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (MT.24:21)

What will happen to CHRISTIANS during this time of unparalleled worldwide trouble? The popular teaching is that they will all be RAPTURED away to Heaven and “ever be with the Lord.” (I TH.4:17)

But the RAPTURE DOCTRINE is a recent one, popularized by an American Evangelist named John Nelson Darby in the 1830’s – which is based on anachronistic readings of certain texts of your Bible.

In fact the word RAPTURE has its roots in French and Latin – not the Greek of the New Testament.

The following are the primary texts RAPTURISTS use to support their teaching – and as we’ll see – if READ in CONTEXT, these Scriptures are speaking of CHRIST’S 2ND COMING at the END of THE GREAT TRIBULATION, not before it:

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (died) lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so GOD will bring with Him (Jesus) those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout , with the voice of an Archangel, and with the trumpet of GOD (compare REV.11:15). And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (I THESSALONIANS 4:13-18 NKJV)

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMPET. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (I CORINTHIANS 15:51,52 NKJV)

“Immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels WITH A GREAT SOUND of A TRUMPET, and they will gather together His Elect from the 4 winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (MATTHEW 24:30,31 NKJV)

Clearly, there are no Biblical texts which teach that Christians are going to be whisked away to Heaven, to escape THE GREAT TRIBULATION. So does that mean that GOD’S PEOPLE will have to endure living under the reign of THE BEAST & FALSE PROPHET? Some will:

“It was granted to him (THE BEAST) to MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS and to overcome them.” (REVELATION 13:7 NKJV)

“…Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of GOD, who had not worshiped THE BEAST or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands.” (REVELATION 20:4)

And the Dragon was enraged with the woman (CHURCH),and he went to make war with the rest of Her offspring, who keep the commandments of GOD and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (REVELATION 12:17 NKJV)

“After these things I looked, and behold, A GREAT MULTITUDE which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before THE LAMB… Then one of the Elders answered, saying to me, Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from? And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who COME OUT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of THE LAMB.” (REVELATION 7:9,13,14)

But your Bible also speaks of another group of Christians who are protected from Satan & THE BEAST worldwide ruling system:

Because you have kept the word of My (Jesus) perseverance,I also will keep you from THE HOUR OF TESTING, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the Earth.” (REVELATION 3:10 NASB)

But the woman (CHURCH)was given two wings of a great eagle,that she might fly into the wilderness TO HER PLACE, where SHE is nourished for a time and times and half a time (3 ½ yearssame amount of time Beast reigns REV.13:5)), from the presence of the serpent. So the Serpent (Satan) spewed water (Beast Army – ISAIAH 17:12, REVELATION 17:15) after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the Earth helped the woman, and the Earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the Dragon had spewed out of his mouth.” (REV.12:14-16 NKJV)

For in THE TIME OF TROUBLEHE SHALL HIDE me IN HIS PAVILION; in THE SECRET PLACE of HIS TABERNACLE HE SHALL HIDE me; HE shall set me high upon a rock.” (PSALM 27:5 NKJV)

“YOU shall HIDE THEM IN THE SECRET PLACE of YOUR PRESENCE from the plots of Man; YOU shall keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues.” (PS.31:20)

He who dwells in THE SECRET PLACE of THE MOST HIGH shall abide under the shadow of THE ALMIGHTY … You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A 1000 may fall at your side, and 10,000 at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made YAHOVEH, who is my refuge, even THE MOST HIGH, your dwelling place,NO EVIL SHALL BEFALL you, NOR SHALL ANY PLAGUE COME NEAR YOUR DWELLING; for HE shall give HIS angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion & the cobra, the young lion & the serpent you shall trample underfoot.” (PS.91:1, 5-13)

But whoever listens to ME (wisdom of YAHOVEH),WILL DWELL SAFELY, and BE SECURE, without fear of evil.” (PROVERBS 1:33 NKJV)

He who WALKS WITH INTEGRITY WALKS SECURELY – but he who perverts his ways will become known.” (PROVERBS 10:9 NKJV)

(MATTHEW 25:1-13) (II TIMOTHY 2:19) (REVELATION 7:2-8)

How much less exciting would food taste – WITHOUT SALT? We take it for granted, but SALT is in most everything we eat or drink. So our blood, sweat & tears all end up containing salinity. In Roman times, SALT was so valuable, it was sometimes used as a way to pay soldiers. Our English word ‘salary’ comes from the word Salarium which was how the Romans referred to salt as a currency. In the Middle Ages SALT was referred to as WHITE GOLD.

One of the ROLES that GOD has called every Christian to play is that of THE SALT of the EARTH.

In the well-known ‘Sermon on the Mount’ – Jesus said:

“You are THE SALT of the EARTH; but if the SALT loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out & trampled underfoot by men.” (MT.5:13 NKJV)

Just as SALT ENHANCES (raises the level of) the food & drink we consume – we are to ENHANCEor raise the level of the lives of all those we come into contact with. Jesus gave us the example…

The apostle Peter wrote:

“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners & pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, HAVING YOUR CONDUCT HONORABLE AMONG THE GENTILES, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may BY YOUR GOOD WORKS which THEY OBSERVE, glorify GOD in the Day of Visitation.” (I PETER 2:10,11)

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, THAT EVEN IF SOME DO NOT OBEY THE WORD, they, without a word, MAY BE WON BY THE CONDUCT of THEIRWIVES, when they observe YOUR CHASTE CONDUCT ACCOMPANIED BY FEAR .” (I PETER 3:1-2 NKJV)

The Apostle Paul added:

“Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,IN ALL THINGS SHOWING YOURSELF TO BE A PATTERN OF GOOD WORKS; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, THAT ONE WHO IS ANOPPONENT MAY BE ASHAMED, HAVING NOTHING EVIL to SAY of YOU.” (TITUS 2:6-8 NKJV)

SALT doesn’t just ENHANCE, however, it also PRESERVES. In Jesus’ day, they would rub salt into meat to PRESERVE its edibility for weeks and even months, not having refrigeration as we do today.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

GUARD WHAT WAS COMMITTED TO YOUR TRUST, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning THE FAITH.” (I TIMOTHY 6:20,21 NKJV)

“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me (Paul), in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” (II TIMOTHY 1:13,14 NKJV)

As THE SALT of the EARTH – We are to preserve GOD’S VALUES & ETHICS in our own behavior, while fighting the corruption of such values & ethics in Society. GOD ALMIGHTY put a mark ofdistinction upon those in Jerusalem: “…WHO SIGH & CRY over all the abominations that are done within it.” (EZEKIEL 9:4) Are you letting your voice be heard against present day evils in our culture?

GOD’S word commands us to:

OPEN YOUR MOUTH for the speechless,in the cause of all who are appointed to die.Open your mouth, judge righteously, and PLEAD the CAUSE of the POOR & NEEDY.” (PROVERBS 31:8,9 NKJV)

DELIVER THOSE WHO ARE DRAWN TOWARD DEATH, andHOLD BACK THOSE STUMBLING TO THE SLAUGHTER.” (PROVERBS 24:11 NKJV)

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How would you describe THE GOD of THE BIBLE to someone of another Religion – or someone newly acquainted with Christianity? What Scriptures would you turn to in the Old & New Testaments that most clearly & succinctly describe OUR CREATOR? Are you prepared to give an answer to someone seeking to know & understand YAHOVEH?

Most Christian Denominations have some kind of Booklet or Statement, as to WHO & WHAT is GOD?

If you had to write your Denominations Statement of Belief about WHO & WHAT GOD IS? – What would you write? GOD is…

The 1st ‘GOD IS’ statement in your Bible is:

     “GOD is not a man that HE should lie, nor a son of man that HE should repent. Has HE said &   will HE not do? Or has HE spoken and will HE not make it good? (NUMBERS 23:19 NKJV)

     “…GOD is TRUE (Gk. Alethes True, or Truth).” (JOHN 3:33 NKJV)

Ironically, this 1st ‘GOD IS’ statement flys in the face of Liberalism – where GOD is a MYTH that the unlearned believe – and MAN is TRUE – and GOD is the liar. But BIBLICAL TRUTH can be demonstrated to be REALITY – not Human Truth.

The 2nd ‘GOD IS’ statement in your Bible is:

     “For the Lord (YAHOVEH) your GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE, a Jealous GOD.” (DEUTERONOMY 4:24)

     “For our GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.” (HEBREWS 12:29 NKJV)

     “The sight of the glory of THE LORD (YAHOVEH) was like A CONSUMING FIRE on the top of the mountain (Sinai) in the eyes of the children of Israel.” (EXODUS 24:17 NKJV)

     “Therefore understand today that THE LORD (YAHOVEH) is HE who goes over before you as A CONSUMING FIRE.” (DEUTERONOMY 9:3 NKJV)

     “Also from the appearance of HIS waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it & from the appearance of HIS waist & downward, I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord (YAHOVEH).”(EZEKIEL 1:27,28 NKJV)

According to your Bible GOD has ‘A WAIST,’ (EZEKIEL 1;27), ‘HANDS,’ (ISAIAH 45:12), ‘FEET’ (EXODUS 24:10), a ‘MOUTH’ (DEUTERONOMY 8:3), ‘EYES’ (DEUTERONOMY 11:12), ‘HAIR’ (DANIEL 7:9) ARMS (DEUTERONOMY 33:27) and ‘FORM’ (JOHN 5:37).  Yet Theologians tell us this is just ANTHROPOMORPHISM (ascribing human form or attributes to Deity). Isn’t it logical that a GOD who makes Man in HIS OWN IMAGE & LIKENESS - is HIMSELF the origin of the Humanoid form? And it is GOD HIMSELF inspiring these Biblical descriptions of HIMSELF.   

Another ‘GOD IS’ statement in your Bible is: “GOD is SPIRIT…” (JOHN 4:24 NKJV)

SPIRIT is equated with FIRE in many texts of your Bible: (MT.3:11) (REV.4:5) (ACTS 2:3,4)

So the 2 ‘GOD IS’ statements of ‘GOD is SPIRIT’ & ‘GOD is A CONSUMING FIRE’ are synonomous, and meant to convey to us the reader, that the very essence of GOD is this Divine, Fiery, Spiritual substance that never burns out – IMMORTALITY!

Which brings us to the next ‘GOD IS’ statement in your Bible:

     “For with YOU (YAHOVEH) is THE FOUNTAIN of LIFE…” (PSALM 36:9 NKJV)

     “…They (Israel) have forsaken ME, THE FOUNTAIN of LIVING WATERS…” (JER.2:13)

     “HE who is the blessed and ONLY POTENTATE (Sovereign), THE KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords, WHO ALONE HAS IMMORTALITY, dwelling in unapproachable light, WHOM NO MAN HAS SEEN or CAN SEE, to whom be everlasting power, amen.” (I TIM.6:15,16)

     “For as THE FATHER HAS LIFE in HIMSELF, so HE has granted the Son to have life in Himself.” (JOHN 5:26 NKJV)

GOD, as ‘SPIRIT’ and ‘A CONSUMING FIRE’ - is THE SOURCE of IMMORTALITY. THE SPIRIT, proceeds from THE FATHER (JOHN 15:26), and GIVES (Eternal) LIFE (JOHN 6:63) through the Resurrection of Life (JOHN 5:29) (ROMANS 1:3,4)

Another characteristic of GOD ALMIGHTY is found in both Testaments:

     “For YAHOVEH our GOD is HOLY.” (PSALM 99:9 NKJV)

     “Who shall not fear YOU, O LORD & glorify YOUR NAME? For YOU ALONE are HOLY.” (REVELATION 15:4 NKJV)

     “For YAHOVEH your GOD is RIGHTEOUS in all the works which HE does.” (DANIEL 9:14)

There are also many COMFORTING ‘GOD IS’ statements in Scripture:

     “…GOD is LOVE…” (I JOHN 4:16 NKJV)

     “…but GOD is FAITHFUL, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (I CORINTHIANS 10:13 NKJV)

     “For YAHOVEH your GOD is GRACIOUS & MERCIFUL, and will not turn HIS FACE from you if you return to HIM.” (II CHRONICLES 30:9 NKJV)

     “THE ETERNAL GOD is YOUR REFUGE, and underneath are the everlasting arms; HE will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, ‘Destroy.’ (DEUTERONOMY 33:27 NKJV)

     “GOD is LIGHT and in HIM is no darkness at all.” (I JOHN 1:5 NKJV)

     “For YAHOVEH GOD is A SUN & SHIELD.” (PSALM 84:11 NKJV)

Then of course, there are the controversial ‘GOD IS’ statements:

     “But HE (GOD) IS UNIQUE, and who can make HIM change? And whatever HIS soul desires, that HE does.” (JOB 23:13 NKJV)

     “Hear, O Israel: YAHOVEH our GOD, YAHOVEH is ONE.” (DEUTERONOMY 6:4 NKJV)

     “To you it was shown, that you might know that YAHOVEH HIMSELF is GOD; there is none other besides HIM.” (DEUTERONOMY 4:35 NKJV)

     “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that YAHOVEH HIMSELF is GOD in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” (DEUTERONOMY 4:39 NKJV)

     “…that all the peoples of the earth may know that YAHOVEH is GOD; there is no other.” (I KINGS 8:60 NKJV)

     “O YAHOVEH GOD of Israel, THE ONE who dwells between the cherubim, YOU ARE GOD, YOU ALONE…” (II KINGS 19:15 NKJV)

     “Is there a GOD besides ME? Indeed there is no other ROCK; I know not one.” (ISAIAH 44:8)

     “I AM YAHOVEH, and there is no other; there is no GOD besides ME.” (ISAIAH 45:5)

     “We (Paul & Original Christians) know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other GOD but ONEyet for us THERE IS ONE GOD, THE FATHER…” (I COR.8:4,6)

     “There is… ONE GOD & FATHER of ALL, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (EPHESIANS 4:4,6 NKJV)

     “How can you (Scribes & Pharisees) believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from THE ONLY GOD? (JOHN 5:44 NKJV)

     “And this is eternal life, that they may know YOU, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ whom YOU have sent.” (JOHN 17:3 NKJV)

     “…I am ascending to My FATHER and your FATHER, and to My GOD and your GOD.”

     “He who overcomes, I (Jesus) will make him a pillar in the temple of My GOD, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My GOD, and the name of the city of My GOD, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My GOD…” (REVELATION 3:12)

     “Blessed be THE GOD and FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, THE FATHER of MERCIES, and GOD of ALL COMFORT.” (II CORINTHIANS 1:3 NKJV)

GOD THE FATHER is our GOD & Jesus’ GOD, the ONLY TRUE GOD – in Jesus’ own words!

This Biblical Truth is accentuated in another ‘GOD IS’ statement:

     “…THE MOST HIGH GOD IS SOVEREIGN (having supreme rank, power, or authority) over all Kingdoms on earth & sets over them anyone HE wishes.” (DANIEL 5:21 NIV)

     “For YAHOVEH your GOD IS GOD of gods, and LORD of Lords, THE GREAT GOD, MIGHTY and AWESOME…” (DEUTERONOMY 10:17 NKJV)

     “My FATHER IS GREATER than I (Jesus).” (JOHN 14:28 NKJV)

     “For HE (The FATHER) has put all things under His (Jesus’) feet. But when HE (The FATHER) says, ‘All things are put under Him (Jesus),’ it is evident that HE who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him (Jesus), then the Son Himself will also be subject to HIM who put all things under Him (Jesus), that GOD (The FATHER) MAY BE ALL IN ALL.” (I CORINTHIANS 15:27,28 NKJV)

Theologians tell us that GOD is 3 PERSONS in 1 BEING (The Trinity Doctrine) – and that GOD THE SON & GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT are CO-EQUAL, CO-ETERNAL, and CONSUBSTANTIAL – Titles and Terms nowhere found in Scripture!

But as we’ve seen today, according to your Bible THERE is ONLY ONE GOD THE FATHER! And we’ve also seen that:

     GOD THE FATHER is TRUE – that HE is not a man that HE should lie…

     THE ALMIGHTY is SPIRIT – A CONSUMING FIRE

     THE ETERNAL is THE FOUNTAIN of LIFE – Who ALONE has IMMORTALITY (LIFE in HIMSELF)

     GOD THE FATHER ALONE is HOLY & RIGHTEOUS

     YAHOVEH is LOVE, MERCY & GRACIOUSNESS

     GOD THE FATHER is FAITHFUL, our REFUGE, a SUN & SHIELD

     THE MOST HIGH is SOVEREIGN, having NO EQUAL

     GOD THE FATHER is UNIQUE, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, being our GOD & Jesus’ GOD

So how will you explain THE ONE GOD of THE BIBLE to others? Using ‘Theological speak’ or Scripture? The doctrines of men – or the word of GOD? As the Apostle Paul wrote:

     “What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify THE FAITHFULNESS of GOD, will it? May it never be! Rather, LET GOD BE FOUND TRUE, though every man be found a liar, as it is written: ‘that YOU may be justified in YOUR words, and prevail when YOU are judged.’” (ROMANS 3:3,4 NASB)

Somewhere in your educational process you were probably taught something about COSMOGONY: scientific theories of the origin of our Universe. We’ve all heard of The ‘Big Bang’ theory (hopefully not just the T.V. series), which postulates that the known universe expanded from a very high-density and high-temperature state, cooling after an initial great expansion, and forming sub-atomic particles and eventually simple atoms. Giant clouds of these primordial elements (mostly hydrogen, with some helium and lithium) coalesced through gravity, eventually forming early stars & galaxies.

The Big Bang theory replaced the ‘Steady State Theory’ which conjectured that a continuous generation of matter maintains a static, eternal Universe). Yet another theory of the origin of our COSMOS is the ‘Eternal Inflation Theory’ which theorizes that the ‘Big Bang’ is recurring, creating ‘multiverses.’

Of course all these theories are just that – theories – and represent man’s on-going eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, deciding for themselves what is truth & reality – instead of deferring to GOD for such knowledge.

Unfortunately, most Christians are not familiar with BIBLICAL COSMOGONY, which is GOD’S explanation of how and when THE COSMOS really came into being!

Your Bible says that “In the beginning, GOD created the heavens & the earth,” (GENESIS 1:1) and that the Universe was created by the Hebrew GOD through HIS SPIRIT in 6 days of evening & morning:

“Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. 6 DAYS you shall labor and do all your work, but the 7th DAY is a Sabbath to YAHOVEH your GOD… for in 6 DAYS YAHOVEH made the heavens and the earth, the Sea and all that is in them, but HE rested on THE 7TH DAY. (EXODUS 20:8,9,11 NKJV)

The weekly cycle that all of Mankind operates around, was established in the first week of creation. GOD established a 6 DAY WORKWEEK (in the opening chapter of the Bible), followed by A DAY of REST which HE codified into LAW - so that we would never forget WHO AUTHORED THE COSMOS, and how young the Universe is.

YAHOVEH’S numbering of each day of Creation, along with HIS deliberate use ofevening & morningin conjunction with each daymake it clear that these were literal 24 hour days. This is the meaning almost everywhere the Hebrew word for ‘Day’ (Yom) is used in Scripture – and in every case without exception, where ‘evening & morning’ are found in your Bible.

The progression of GOD’S CREATIVE ACTIVITIES in the first chapter of GENESISalso demandsdays be daysrather than eras or epics of time. The plants created on DAY 3 are dependent upon the soil created on DAY 2 and the sunlight created on DAY 4, and would not have survived a long DAY 3 of thousands or millions of years without sunshine.

The oldest living thing, the Bristle Cone Pine found in California, is around 4400 years old – which is approximately how long ago the World-wide flood occurred, according to the genealogies of the Bible. Measurements of the expansion of Ocean Reefs and the Sahara Desert over the last few decades – also show their origins to be around 4000 years ago.

Most of the Fossil Record is contained in Sedimentary Rock (rock formed by water moving mud & sand into multiple layers and then drying hard) – which a Worldwide flood would have produced – giving the appearance of epic ages of fossils, when it all could have happened suddenly.

Beds of sediment hundreds of feet thick, have been found all over the world & had to have been deposited and buried quickly (as in a flood), otherwise the pervasiveness of minerals would have weathered away.

Stones that are washed around in fast moving water (flood) become rounded & smooth. Conglomerate beds of such ‘washed rocks’ extend hundreds of miles, and are sometimes over a hundred feet thick, often containing rock types not indigenous to these burial grounds – that could have only been carried there by a World-wide flood.

Scientists tell us that in the distant past there was a Carboniferous Period - a time of forest burial on a spectacular scale, that produced the World’s coal beds. They postulate that over a long period of time, the dead foliage piled up into layers of carbon that was pressed into coal by pressure from all sides. Of course the same thing could have happened quickly by massive amounts of swift running water uprooting whole forests and laying them down in sedimentary deposits, where the same pressure on all sides squeezed that carbon into coal.

The abundant remains of intact fossilized fish skeletons (found globally) point to rapid burial that was sufficiently deep to prevent oxidation and bacterial decay.

Then there are the massive graveyards of Sea Creatures interspersed with Mammals, all over the earth. The excellent preservation of these vertebrae also point to rapid burial, and among the Mammals – death by drowning. Then there’s the inexplicable mix of widely diverse species from different geographical regions and habitats, all lumped together in the same sedimentary deposits – pointing to a cataclysmic flood of water, churning & mixing creatures from broad regions of the earth together.

The Apostle Peter wrote that in the latter days there would be blind denial to such facts:

But they deliberately forget that long ago by GOD’S word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” (II PETER 3:5-7 NIV)

Another reason Scientists give for an old Earth & Universe is the distance of the stars from Earth, demanding billions of light years for their light to arrive at the Earth’s surface.

But according to BIBLICAL COSMOGONY, Stars were created on DAY 4 of creation and ‘SET’ (Hebrew: Nathan ‘to set or show’) in the Sky. So Adam, who was created on DAY 6 would have seen these Celestial objects, even if they were light-years away! Therefore, the APPARENT AGE of the STARS (even if they are now billions of light-years away) is not indicative of their TRUE AGE – as YAHOVEH set them in the sky in such a way as to be seen immediately from the surface of the earth.

Our CREATOR also made sure that we could never say that LIFE evolved from a single-cell amoeba, by telling us that HE made every living thing (grass, herbs, trees, sea & land creatures) ACCORDING TO ITS OWN KIND!

In the view of Evolution, all species of Sea creatures, Plants, and Animals share a distant ancestry, and are all part of a single Phylogenetic Tree. You’ve probably seen a depiction of such a tree in a Science Textbook, where 3 or more limbs branch out with the names of various species of plants, animals, and aquatic life – all tied together by the trunk of the tree. The purpose is to put together a hypothetical chain of the development of one type of species into another, using computational algorithms, methods, and programs – to show joint characteristics and possible transitional forms.

But you would think that ‘computational algorithms’ would no longer be necessary after 160 years of Archaeological Digs! Surely by now, Scientists should be able to furnish readers with a football size Phylogenetic Tree full of pictures of actual fossils of real transitional forms – but they can’t!

Charles Darwin himself questioned this very conundrum:

“Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this perhaps is the most obvious & gravest objection which can be argued against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.” (Origin of Species p. 280)

Unfortunately, for Evolutionists, the last 2 centuries have not improved the ‘extreme imperfection of the geological record’ when it comes to revealing transitional forms.

Instead, after vigorously searching millions of Fossils the world over, Evolutionists have failed to produce even one clear ‘chain of transitional forms’ from their work. When Dr. Colin Patterson (The Senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History for decades) was asked why he had no illustrations of transitional forms in his 1978 bookEVOLUTION’ he replied:

“…there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”

All of which verifies what GOD said in the first chapter of GENESIS - THAT ALL LIVING THINGS REPRODUCE AFTER THEIR OWN KIND! GENETICS verifies this ‘GENESIS KINDNESS’ by revealing that ‘Human Kindness,’ ‘Plant Kindness’ and ‘Creature Kindness’ all have unique gene codes that make them a particular ‘Kind’ – and ‘ne’er the twain shall meet.’

While there is evidence for Micro-evolution (a change in gene frequency within a population or ‘kind’) there is no evidence for Macro-Evolution (a change in genetic code resulting in a partial or full leap from one species to another). Which is to say that we have yet to see a watertight case for Plant A becoming Animal A or Animal B transitioning to Animal C or Human A - either in part or in whole. Instead we see KINDS continuing to beget KINDS as it has always been according to the Fossil Record.

Another COSMOGONAL (Origin of the Universe) TEXT in SCRIPTURE was way ahead of Scientific discovery:

“By FAITH we understand that the Worlds were framed by the word of GOD, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (HEBREWS 11:3 NKJV)

Through the development of Electron Microscopes (with magnification: 10,000,000x) we are now able to confirm this revelation from GOD – that indeed the things we see, are not made of things which are visible to the Human eye! Through such powerful instruments – man has identified the building blocks of matter, energy, and all living organisms: cells and even their interworking parts which show wondrous design and cooperative function.

But the obvious follow-up question becomes – what are these microscopic parts themselves made of? That’s what Quantum Mechanics seeks to answer as they acknowledge that there are some objects that are far too small to be seen even with the most powerful microscopes. Here again, Scientists verify what GOD said: that the things which are seen (even through microscopes) are not made of things visible.

The smallest thing that can be seen with Electron Microscopes are ATOMS. Yet Scientists tell us that ATOMS are composed of a nucleus (containing protons & neutrons) and one or more electrons. These sub-atomic particles are thought to be made up of Hadrons (made up of 2 or more quarks) which may themselves be composed of strings (one dimensional loops) that cut across or exist in 9 spatial and (one ‘time’) dimensions.

That’s a lot of guess-work and thus far no experiments have been done that verify these fundamental string-like building blocks of all things. Yet it is thought that these one dimensional lines vibrate in different frequencies forming sub-atomic particles that make up matter, energy & living organisms.

If this is ever verified through experimentation or advancements in microscopy, it would certainly harmonize with BIBLICAL COSMOGONY which tells us that it was THE REVERBERATION of GOD’S VOICE that brought everything into being:

“In the beginning GOD created the heavens & the earth… Then GOD SAID

That word ‘SAID’ in the Hebrew (Amar) means to SAY, DECLARE, or CHARGE and is used throughout the creative process outlined in GENESIS 1 to bring light, land, waters, plants, and animals into being.

Man’s voice is made up of VOCAL CHORDS (strings) that reverberate as we exhale and flap our tongues

GOD’S VOICE (in whose image we are made) also REVERBERATES:

“The VOICE of the Lord is over the waters; The GOD of glory THUNDERS…” (PSALM 29:3)

“The VOICE of the Lord is POWERFUL; the VOICE of the Lord is full of majesty.” (PS.29:4)

“The VOICE of the Lord BREAKS the CEDARS…” (PSALM 29:5)

“The VOICE of the Lord SHAKES the WILDERNESS…” (PSALM 29:8)

“The VOICE of the Lord makes the deer give birth, and strips the forest bare…” (PS.29:9)

“…WHOSE VOICE then SHOOK THE EARTH…” (HEBREWS 12:26) 10 commandments

The book of Hebrews tells us that everything is sustained by GOD’S word (HEBREWS 1:3) and a Psalm of King David further ties CREATION to reverberating speech:

“The heavens declare the glory of GOD; and the firmament showeth HIS handiwork. Day upon day uttereth speech, and night upon night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Sound (Hebrew Qav: Chord or String) has gone forth through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (PSALM 19:1-4 - 20TH century KJV)

The Universe came into being and is sustained by the reverberating words of GOD, Divine utterances whose SOUND is connected to chords or strings making up all matter, energy, and life.

The Apostle Paul warned us as followers of Christ:

“…Guard what was committed to your trust (Scripture) avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge (Science) – by professing it some have strayed concerning THE FAITH.” (I TIMOTHY 6:20,21 NKJV)

Beware lest anyone cheat you (of eternal life) through philosophy & empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world & not according to Christ.” (COLOSSIANS 2:8 NKJV)

BIBLICAL COSMOGONY takes us back to the utterances of GOD which brought our COSMOS into being some 6000 years ago. Pre-flood History is in part preserved in Fossil Beds created by a Worldwide flood, which clearly show that all plants, animals and aquatic creatures reproduce after “their own kind.

Theologians keep telling us that GOD is OUTSIDE of TIME... but is that a Biblical Teaching, or a philosophical assessment? Does THE ALMIGHTY experience TIME? What exactly is TIME? And should we even take the TIME to pursue the Biblical Answers to such questions?

Well the answer to the last question is YES – we need to understand what the Bible says about TIME and TIMES – because it affects our understanding of who & what GOD is, as well as topics like ‘free will,’ predestination, and keeping appointments with our Maker.

Science tells us that TIME is quite possibly a 4th Dimension, a property connected with the existence of MATTER. Thus TIME began with the Big Bang and the spreading out of MATTER – they postulate.

Theologians argue that since GOD is not MATTER, but the CREATOR of IT - THE MOST HIGH must be OUTSIDE of TIME. This sounds logical, but it may be built on a false premise, because neither Scientists nor Theologians can demonstrate exactly how TIME & MATTER are connected.

Our Bibles tell us in the very first chapter, that YAHOVEH made MATTER (the heavens & the earth), SPACE (the expanse called sky), and ENERGY (The sun, moon & stars). But our Bibles DO NOT TELL US THAT GOD CREATED ‘TIME,’ nor does Scripture define TIME.

Down through the centuries, TIME has been defined by Human Beings as:

“A linear continuum of INSTANTS (Philosopher Adolf Grunbaum)

“A Continuum that lacks spatial dimensions…” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

“The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” (Oxford Dictionary)

“A continuous measurable quantity in which events occur in a sequence, proceeding from the past, through the present, to the future.” (Science Dictionary)

“A non-spatial system in which events appear to happen in irreversible succession. WordSmyth

Consolidating & simplifying the definitions: TIME is successive occurrence (Incidents, Events) which can be measured, which is to say that if nothing occurred, there would be no TIME.

But according to our Bibles – SOMEONE & SOMETHING has always OCCURRED:

“For thus says THE HIGH & LOFTY ONE WHO INHABITS ETERNITY…” (ISAIAH 57:15)

“…from EVERLASTING to EVERLASTING, YOU ARE GOD.” (PSALM 90:2 NKJV)

“For MY THOUGHTS are not your thoughts, nor are your ways MY WAYS says YAHOVEH, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are MY WAYS higher than your ways, and MY THOUGHTS than your thoughts.”

Before HE created the heavens and the earth – GOD was THINKING and PLANNING – and those THOUGHTS and PLANS were SUCCESSIVE OCCURRENCES, the very definition of TIME:

“He (Jesus) indeed was foreordained (pre-determined) BEFORE the foundation of the World, but was manifest in these last times for you.” (I PETER 1:20 NKJV) “…HE (The FATHER) chose us in Him (Christ) BEFORE the foundation of the World, that we should be holy and without blame before HIM in love.” (EPHESIANS 1:4 NKJV)

TIME is not ‘created’ ex-nihilo (out of nothing like Matter, energy, and Space) rather, CREATION is a SEQUENCE of ACTS stemming from a SEQUENCE of THOUGHTS all of which can be measured

Furthermore, TIME isn’t a physical thing which only occurs in the physical universe because there are Biblical references to time in Heaven as well:

“When He opened the 7th Seal, there was silence IN HEAVEN for about half an hour.” (REVELATION 8:1 NKJV)

“But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of GOD (in Heaven), from THAT TIME waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.” (HEBREWS 10:12,13 NKJV)

“And suddenly they (2 demon-possessed men) cried out, saying, ‘What have we to do with You Jesus, You Son of GOD? Have You come to torment us before THE TIME?’”

The book of REVELATION is advance warning of SEQUENTIAL EVENTS that are being carried out and coordinated by GOD and HIS Angels from Heaven on Earth: 7 Seals opened up at INTERVALS of TIME, followed by 7 Trumpet blasts, and finally the 7 Last Plagues…

YAHOVEH our GOD is so much into TIME that HE set the Sun, moon & stars in their courses to:

“…serve as signs to MARK SACRED TIMES, and days and years.” GENESIS 1:14 NIV)

“These are YAHOVEH’S APPOINTED FESTIVALS, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at THEIR APPOINTED TIMES… (LEVITICUS 23:4 NIV)

The 7 Day Week, months & Year, are not just man’s earthly clock – they are also the Heavenly Clock!

We Human Beings count down the days to big events – and so does our MAKER:

“From the time that the Daily Sacrifice is abolished and the Abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1335 days.” (DANIEL 12:11,12 NIV)

And what connection is there between TIME, FREE-WILL, and PREDESTINATION?

Initially GOD ALMIGHTY gave men LOTS of TIME, centuries to live… but after the flood GOD reduced human lifespans:

“MY SPIRIT shall not strive with Man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be 120 years.” (GENESIS 6:3 NKJV)

A Human Being may will him or herself to live longer than 120 years but THE SOVEREIGNTY of GOD limits Mans will – which is to say that we have LIMITED FREE WILL. YAHOVEH gives Man a lot of ‘free will’ to corrupt himself & others, but not ‘unlimited free will’ – as Sodom & Gomorrah found out!

Those 120 years can be shortened by the exercise of FREE WILL that runs contrary to GOD’S WILL and SOVEREIGNTY (Supreme Authority)

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The Apostle Paul spoke of ‘free will’ to a brother in Christ:

“But without your consent I (Paul) did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of YOUR OWN FREE WILL.” (PHILEMON 1:14 NASB)

In a statement to Israel, THE MOST HIGH laid out the LIMITED FREE WILL HE has given Mankind:

“I (YAHOVEH) call Heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life & death, blessing & cursing; therefore CHOOSE life, that both you & your descendants may live.” (DEUTERONOMY 30:19 NKJV)

The connection between TIME & FREE WILL is spelled out here: Move as freely as you’d like – but understand that if your ‘free will’ choices run contrary to GOD’S WILL – you will be cursed and your TIME upon this earth shortened!

And what is the link between TIME, FREE WILL, and PREDESTINATION? Before the CREATION of our COSMOS, our CREATOR took TIME (portrayed in a sequence of thoughts & plans) to design us in HIS OWN IMAGE & LIKENESS, with the ability to think, reason and make choices (FREE WILL) – PREDETERMINING (before the foundation of the world) that fleshly beings would use their ‘free will’ to thwart HIS WILL (and thus need a Savior), PREDESTINATING some Human Beings to be CALLED, ENLIGHTENED & SAVED in this Age of Satan’s rule & deception, while the rest of Humanity waits till the Millennial reign of Christ and the New Heaven & Earth for their calling, enlightenment & redemption.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this PREDESTINATION of THE FEW:

For whom HE foreknew, HE also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the image of HIS Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom HE PREDESTINED, these HE also CALLED, these HE also justified; and whom HE justified, these HE also glorified. (ROMANS 8:29,30 NKJV)

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being PREDESTINED according to the purpose of HIM who works all things according to the counsel of HIS WILL, that we who FIRST trusted in Christ should be to the praise of HIS glory.” (EPHESIANS 1:11,12 NKJV)

These texts show PREDESTINATION is connected to FIRSTFRUITS (as opposed to 2nd Fruits reaped during the Millennial rule of Christ - and 3rd Fruits reaped during the White Throne Judgment Period).

But theologians teach that PREDESTINATION is GOD exercising HIS SOVEREIGNTY over everyone’s every decision, before TIME as we know it began. Is that what these texts say to you?

Biblical Predestination is a process by which ALMIGHTY GOD examines a DNA Family Tree and then pre-birth determines who HE will CALL, ENLIGHTEN, and REDEEM from Humanity in this Age:

“And YAHOVEH said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a Land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.” (GENESIS 12:1,2 NKJV)

“Then the word of YAOVEH came to me (Jeremiah), saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you prophet to the nations.” (JEREMIAH 1:4,5 NKJV)

“And now YAHOVEH says, WHO formed Me (Jesus) from the womb to be HIS servant, to bring Jacob back to HIM, so that Israel is gathered to HIM, (for I shall be glorious in the eyes of YAHOVEH, and My GOD shall be My strength.” (ISAIAH 49:5 NKJV)

“HE has made everything beautiful in its TIME. HE has also set ETERNITY in the Human Heart; yet no one can fathom what GOD has done from beginning to end.” (ECCLESIASTES 3:11 NKJV)

INDEPENDENCE DAY - what does it mean to you? Probably a day off, picnics, parades, fireworks and time with Family & friends! You may also think of the BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE when the Human Race declares its INDEPENDECE from Alien Invaders...

On July 4th, 1776 - The Continental Congress DECLARED that the 13 Colonies were no longer under the jurisdiction of Great Britain and its King. The Official vote was actually on July 2nd - but then a small committee was assigned the task of putting the Declaration in writing - and after being discussed and modified - A FORMAL DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE was voted on & approved on July 4th.

That DECLARATION read thus:

"When in the course of Human events, it becomes necessary for one people to DISSOLVE the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth, THE SEPARATE and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's GOD entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of Mankind REQUIRES THAT THEY SHOULD DECLARE THE CAUSES which impel them to THE SEPARATION."

If you take the time to read the rest of THE DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE - it goes on to list some 27 causes for this SEPARATION including taxation without representation or consent.

SEPARATION through FORMAL DECLARATION of legitimate abuses by another party to whom one is bonded - is a pattern seen in your Bible...

(GENESIS 13:7-16) Abram & Lot heard grievances from their herdsmen against one another, and Abram who was a Peacemaker suggested a SEPARATION, DECLARING LOT'S INDEPENDENCE - giving Lot preference in choosing what land to occupy. Lot, as we know chose the plain of Jordan, which was a lush agricultural valley, before the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah. We know from Scripture that such separation did not destroy their relationship - as Abram rescued Lot from captivity, and dickered with GOD over the fate of Sodom in order to save Lot's family.

(GENESIS 37:17-) Joseph's brothers had a list of grievances against him that made them feel justified in SEPARATING him from them. Their Declaration of Independence was a harsh one (DEATH), mitigated by Reuben & Judah, who made alternative suggestions. For wronging their brother, GOD carried out the dreams Joseph had, subjugating Joseph's brothers to him in Egypt. YHVH also gave special blessings to the descendants of Joseph because of his brother's declaration of independence from them. (GENESIS 49:26)

(EXODUS 5:1) Israel and its GOD had a list of grievances against Pharoah of Egypt... (EXODUS 12:41) (LEV.20:26) (ISAIAH 50:1-) (JEREMIAH 3:8-) (I CORINTHIANS 7:1-)

ALMIGHTY GOD has SEPARATED US from this world as a PECULIAR PEOPLE, A HOLY NATION (II CORINTHIANS 6:17,18) (I PETER 2:9) (ROMANS 6:3-)

BAPTISM should be our own personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE from destructive forces in this World.

But maybe you never made a formal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE from Satan, Society & Self - writing down the reasons that compelled you to come to the waters of Baptism and giving the reasons for your separation from the World. If you haven't - you'll find the exercise very helpful in renewing your commitment to GOD'S WORD & HIS RULE in your life.

In the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers of this Nation talk about unalienable rights they believed were endowed upon Mankind by ALMIGHTY GOD: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

But are these RIGHTS really mentioned in your BIBLE?  Do you know your Bible well enough to quote these texts to skeptics? Are there any other RIGHTS besides these that YEHOVAH endowed us with - as those made in HIS IMAGE & LIKENESS?

What are YOUR RIGHTS according to GOD and your BIBLE?

Two current events make this a study you can’t afford to ignore:

            The rise of NEW RIGHTS being demanded by LIBERALISM & ISLAM that conflict with those       listed in the Declaration of Independence & the Bible. 

            The establishment of a new Commission by the Trump Administration defining UNALIENABLE     RIGHTS.

The key word in the Declaration of Independence is ENDOWED – which the founding fathers used to connect RIGHTS with THE CREATOR.  All 56 signers of that Declaration were members of Christian Churches.  These men felt that there were certain RIGHTS that no Human Government should DENY its citizens – because they were granted by THE CREATOR HIMSELF. 

What are those RIGHTS – and how do they CONFLICT with the rise of NEW RIGHTS being demanded by others today?  That’s the subject of today’s broadcast.

Speaking to Mankind – YEHOVAH says about THE RIGHT to LIFE:

            “I call heaven & earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death,        blessing & cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you & your descendants may live…”   (DEUTERONOMY 30:19 NKJV)

            “You shall not murder.” (EXODUS 20:13 NKJV)

            “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaugher.”             (PROVERBS 24:11 NKJV)

            “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die.” (PR.31:8)

The god of Islam by contrast, tells its adherents to “kill the disbelievers wherever we find them.” (2:191)  And Liberals in this Country champion the abortion of a million children a year.

Concerning THE RIGHT of LIBERTY your Bible says:

            “Now YHVH is THE SPIRIT; and where THE SPIRIT of YHVH ISthere is LIBERTY.”            (II CORINTHIANS 3:17 Restoration Study Bible)

            “Therefore thus says YHVH, ‘You have not obeyed ME in proclaiming liberty, every one to         his brother and everyone to his neighbor…” (JEREMIAH 34:17 NKJV)

            “The SPIRIT of YHVH is upon Me (Jesus) because HE has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to      the poor; HE has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the         acceptable year of YHVH.” (LUKE 4:18,19 NKJV)

The Founding Fathers of our Country also listed THE RIGHT to THE PURSUIT of HAPPINESS as a RIGHT endowed upon all men by their CREATOR:

            “…IT IS FITTING to eat and drink and FIND ENJOYMENT in all the toil with which one            toils under the sun the few days of the life GOD gives us; FOR THIS IS OUR LOT.”   (ECCLESIASTES 5:18 NRSV) 

The Old Testament makes clear that GOD intended Mankind to have PROPERTY RIGHTS:

            And you shall DIVIDE THE LAND by lot as an inheritance among your families; to the             larger you shall give a larger inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give a smaller inheritance;            there everyone’s inheritance shall be whatever falls to him by lot.  You shall inherit according to         the tribes of your fathers.” (NUMBERS 33:54 NKJV)

            “And you shall consecrate the 50th year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its         inhabitants.  It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to HIS POSSESSION,     and each of you shall return to HIS FAMILY.” (LEVITICUS 25:10 NKJV)

            “You shall not STEAL.” (EXODUS 20:15 NKJV)

According to your Bible – the poor among us also have UNDENIABLE RIGHTS:

            “…And THE RIGHT of THE NEEDY they (Israelites) do not defendShall I not punish them for these things? Says YHVH.  Shall I not avenge MYSELF on such a nation as this?”             (JEREMIAH 5:28 NKJV)

            “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field           when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest.  You shall leave them for            the poor and the stranger: I am YHVH your GOD.” (LEVITICUS 23:22 NKJV)

            “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to         do so.  Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when             you have it with you.” (PROVERBS 3:27,28 NKJV)

The GOD of JUSTICE also gave Mankind THE RIGHT of JUSTICE:

            “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you          shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is GOD’S.” (DEUTERONOMY 1:17)

            “You shall do no injustice in judgment.  You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty.  In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.” (LEVITICUS 19:15)

Too many people today are manufacturing RIGHTS out of thin air – with no Divine backing – and often in contradiction to authentic GOD GIVEN RIGHTS…

            There is NO RIGHT to UNIVERSAL ACCEPTANCE!  GOD says: “If you do well, will you        not be accepted? (GENESIS 4:7)  

            There is NO RIGHT to STATE GUARANTEED HEALTHCARE or INCOME!  GOD says:       “…If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (II THESSALONIANS 3:10 NKJV)

            There is NO RIGHT to IMPEDE FREE SPEECH because you disagree with someone’s   views!              The book of ACTS is much about attempts by the Authorities to censor the Apostles’      speech… by contrast, GOD says, “Come now, and let us reason together.” (ISAIAH 1:18 NKJV)

And what are the GREATEST RIGHTS given to MANKIND:

            “But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave THE RIGHT to become CHILDREN        OF GOD, to those who believe in His name.” (JOHN 1:12 NKJV)

            “Blessed are those who do HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they may have THE RIGHT to THE      TREE of LIFE, and may enter through the gates into the City.” (REVELATION 22:14 NKJV)

Jesus said in (MATTHEW 22:36-40) that ALL the Law & the Prophets (Old Testament) hang on two commandments about how to love GOD with all your heart, mind, and soul – and loving your neighbor as yourself. But love is a rather nebulous word… we speak of ‘romantic love,’ ‘brotherly love,’ and ‘Godly love,’ all having different nuances of meaning. But what is the driving force behind all love?

The driving force behind LOVE is REVERENCE ! Having REVERENCE for another person is to hold one in HIGH ESTEEM, or AWE - to VALUE & TREASURE SOMEONE DEARLY! This REVERENCE drives a person to serve, edify, and nurture another – which fulfills THE LAW.

Unfortunately, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ (irreverence). The dating couple REVERE one another in their opening months – while the same couple, seasoned with years of familiarity, begin to irreverently focus on faults in one another, rather than continuing to focus on what they treasure about one another.

The same thing happens to many ‘best friends,’ ‘business partners,’ and Representatives & their electors. Their bonding begins with REVERENCE – their drifting apart with IRREVERENCE, as they become disappointed with one another.

And if we as Christians are not careful, we can even begin to lose REVERENCE for our GOD. Just a few decades into Man’s history upon this earth, we read:

“At that time, PROFANING the NAME of YHVH began.” (GENESIS 4:26 ISV)

GOD is greatly to be feared in the Assembly of the Saints, and to be held in REVERENCE (Heb. ‘Yare’ To treasure, hold in awe) by all those around HIM.” (PSALM 89:7 NKJV)

The key word here is HELD – reminding us as GOD’S children, that we must never lose the ESTEEM we have for our MAKER! In HIS frustration and anger towards Israel’s Priests, who were to help uphold the REVERENCE of GOD among the people, YEHOVAH said to them:

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I AM THE FATHER, where is MY HONOR? And if I AM A MASTER, where is MY REVERENCE? Says YHVH of HOSTS to you priests who despise MY NAME.” (MALACHI 1:6 NKJV)

“Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve GOD acceptably with REVERENCE and godly fear.” (HEB.12:28)

Easy to say – but how do we actually and incessantly REVERE GOD ALMIGHTY? Loving YAH with all our heart, mind and soul begins with REVERENCE – Esteeming HIM as THE MOST HIGH who has SOVEREIGNTY in our lives and whose word we TREASURE more than the words of any men…

And YEHOVAH HIMSELF gives us some specific commands on how to REVERE HIM:

“You shall keep MY Sabbaths and REVERENCE MY SANCTUARY: I AM YHVH.” (LEVITICUS 19:30; 26:2 NKJV)

In Old Testament times GOD’S SANCTUARY was in the Tabernacle of Meeting, followed by Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples. But the New Testament makes it clear that GOD’S NEW SANCTUARY is in us:

“Do you not know thatyou are THE TEMPLE of GOD and that THE SPIRIT of GOD dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of GOD, GOD will destroy him. For THE TEMPLE of GOD is holy, which TEMPLE you are.” (I CORINTHIANS 3:16,17 NKJV)

“Jesus answered and said to him (Judas), ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My FATHER will love him, and WE will come to him and make our home with him.” (JN.14:23)

REVERENCING GOD’S SANCTUARY now - is first and foremost about the awesome and sobering responsibility of hosting THE FATHER & SON through THE HOLY SPIRIT in you :

“Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified. (II CORINTHIANS 13:5 NKJV)

If we really comprehend what it means to GIVE SANCTUARY to THE FATHER & Son we would be extremely careful about how we think, speak , act & react with them residing in us:

“…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of GOD, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ …” (II CORINTHIANS 10:5)

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (COLOSSIANS 4:6 NKJV)

“…in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” (TITUS 2:7,8 NKJV)

TRUE CONVERSION is having such a reverence for GOD’S PRESENCE in YOU that you acquiesce to HIS SOVEREIGNTY over your thoughts, speech, bodily desires & reactions towards mistreatment.

And since we are THE TEMPLE of GOD individually – when we come together to worship GOD we become the SANCTUARY of GOD COLLECTIVELY:

Walk prudently when you go to the HOUSE of GOD; and draw near to hear – rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before GOD. For GOD is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.” (ECCLESIASTES 5:1,2 NKJV)

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to ME as priest.” (EXODUS 28:2,3 NKJV)

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of HIM who called you out of darkness into HIS marvelous light.” (I PETER 2:9 NKJV)

“Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables & said: ‘This Kingdom of heaven is like a certain King who arranged a marriage for HIS Son. But when the King came in to see the guests he sawa man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So HE said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then the King said, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness…” (MT.22:2-13)

Somewhere along the way, Christian Pastors in this Country started dressing down when they went to THE HOUSE of GOD : Jeans, T-shirts, even shorts and flip-flops. Yet these same Pastors if invited to the Governor’s mansion, or the White House – would dress in the best wedding garment they owned!

ALMIGHTY GOD says: “You shall keep MY Sabbaths and REVERENCE MY SANCTUARY.” Yet millions of Christians nationwide don’t REVERE GOD as much as human dignitaries and enter THE HOUSE of GOD without a Priestly, or Wedding Garment! And as a result – many sanctuaries of worship across the nation feel casual, and worldly – instead of holy! Christian leaders have stripped away the ‘Holy Place’ and the ‘Holy Time’ creating an irreverent atmosphere in which to worship their MAKER.

REVERENCE is the driving force behind the fulfillment of the 613 LAWS of TORAH and the 1050 COMMANDS in the New Testament. The 10 COMMANDMENTS in light of REVERENCE:

“Every one of you shall REVERE his mother & father & keep MY SABBATHS: I AM YHVH your GOD.” (LEVITICUS 19:3 NKJV)

When a child stops REVERING (respecting, valuing) his or her parents, he or she becomes irreverent towards them, and robs himself or herself of a long and blessed life. (EXODUS 20:12)

LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR, as outlined in the last 5 COMMANDMENTS, demands that we ESTEEM PEOPLE HIGHLY:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility VALUE others above yourselves.” (PHILIPPIANS 2:3 NIV)

I’ve always appreciated the Japanese custom of bowing towards one another . It’s a fundamental part of their social etiquette – and is done out of REVERENCE for their fellow man. How different wouldAmerican Society and THE CHURCH beif bowing was part of our social etiquette?

Both Paul & Peter commanded the Church to:

“Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (ROM.16:16) (I COR.16:20) (II COR.13:12) (I THES.5:26)

“Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I PETER 5:14)

Bowing towards someone , shaking their hand, orgreeting them with a holy kissare all examples of REVERENCE toward your fellow-Man.

It’s when we lose respect for others that we ‘dis’ them with a ‘put down statement,’ a derogatory name, or a ‘cussing out.’ Satan, as the Prince & Power of the air (EPHESIANS 2:2), tries to get us to focus on other’s sins, mistakes, and weak points – instead of lifting one another up:

“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger & his glory is to overlook a transgression.” (PROVERBS 19:11 NKJV)

He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” (PROVERBS 17:9 NKJV)

“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace & the things by which one may edify (build up) another.” (ROMANS 14:19 NKJV)

IRREVERENCE damages & destroys RELATIONSHIPS REVERENCE builds & strengthens RELATIONSHIPS!

Satan is called ‘THE ACCUSER of OUR BRETHREN’ accusing you and I of wrong-doing before GOD – day and night. (REV.12:10) Are you in the habit of such irreverence toward your brothers and sisters in Christ ?

We live in a world where people are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries:

“…whereas Angels, who are greater in power and might (than men), do not bring a reviling accusation against them (dignitaries) before YHVH.” (II PETER 2:10,11)

The Apostle Paul told Titus to instruct Christians to be REVERENT:

“…that the older men be sober, REVERENT, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;the older women likewise, that they be REVERENT in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things…” (TITUS 2:2,3 NKJV)

Your Bible asks:

Is not your REVERENCE your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope?” (JOB4:6 NKJV)

When you take a mindset of REVERENCE for GOD, your neighbor, and yourself into your daily life, there’s a confidence that accompanies you – knowing that GOD is pleased to dwell in you and guide you through your day! That’s why your Bible says:

HAPPY is the man who is always REVERENT…” (PROVERBS 28:14 NKJV)


Who will be the 2 witnesses prophesied in the book of Revelation? It may shock you to hear that our Bibles tell us exactly who these representatives of GOD will be - in fact it gives us their names!

Zechariah chapter 2 & Revelation chapter 11 both begin with someone MEASURING in Jerusalem - and end with the return of Christ and the setting up of His Kingdom to rule all Nations. And the 3rd & 4th chapters of the book of Zechariah parallel Revelation chapter 11 in the discussion of the 2 witnesses that GOD will raise up - to give a testimony of the truth - during the reign of deception of the Beast.

Zechariah chapter 2 begins with a man measuring the width & breadth of Jerusalem - while the book of Revelation chapter 11 begins with the Apostle John being told to measure the Temple, the Alter, and those worshipping there.

What's the message behind such MEASURING? In the pages of your Bible - we find 2 examples of Israelbeing MEASURED - and in both cases it is for JUDGMENT & CONDEMNATION:

"...Behold, YHVH stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in HIS HAND. And YHVH said to me (Amos), what do you see? And I said, 'A plumb line.' Then YHVH said: 'Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore. The high places of Isaac (pagan worship) shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste. I will rise with the sword against the house of Jeroboam." (AMOS 7:7-9)

"YHVH said through HIS servants the prophets: 'Manasseh King of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. Therefore, this is what YHVH, the GOD of Israel, says: 'I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the House of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes out a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down." (II KINGS 21:10-13 NIV)

Zechariah is prophesying about a future MEASURING of JERUSALEM that will also result in itsJUDGMENT because of its sins:

"And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, 'YHVH will not do good, nor will HE do evil." (ZEPHANIAH 1:12 NKJV)

"Then I (Jeremiah) took the cup from YHVH's hand, and made all the nations drink, to whom YHVH had sent me: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and its princes, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse, as it is this day..." (JEREMIAH 25:17,18)

The Apostle John is also told by the Angel of Jesus in a vision to MEASURE something:

"Then I was given a reed like a MEASURING ROD. And the Angel stood, saying, 'Rise and MEASURE the Temple of GOD, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the courtwhich is outside the Temple, and do not MEASURE it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the Holy City (Jerusalem) underfoot for 42 months." (REV.11:1,2)

John is told not to measure the outer court - because it has already been measured by the one who MEASURES the width and breadth of Jerusalem - in Zechariah's chapter 2 vision! Zechariah's MEASURING MAN symbolizes JUDGMENT on JERUSALEM by the Gentile Beast that GOD ALMIGHTY brings upon her because of modern day Israel's sins!

John is also MEASURING something that is being judged:

"For the time has come for JUDGMENT to begin at THE HOUSE of GOD; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the Gospel of GOD? (I PETER 4:17)

Paul's writings tell us that THE CHURCH is THE HOUSE of GOD & GOD'S NEW TEMPLE:

"Now therefore you (Christians) are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of THE HOUSEHOLD of GOD." (EPHESIANS 2:19 NKJV)

"Do you not know that you are TEMPLE of GOD and that THE SPIRIT of GOD dwells in you? If anyone defiles THE TEMPLE of GOD, GOD will destroy him. For THE TEMPLE of GOD is HOLY - which TEMPLE you are." (I CORINTHIANS 3:16,17 NKJV)

The Apostle John is told to measure GOD'S temple, alter, and those who worship there - right before the Gentiles take over Jerusalem, ushering in THE GREAT TRIBULATION, and the reign of the Beast.

Why does GOD give John these measuring instructions? Could it be that GOD is taking a census of thosewho constitute HIS Church or Temple at that time? It seems to be - because in the following chapter of the book of Revelation we read of THE CHURCH being divided into 2 camps:

"But the Woman (Church: EPH.5:25) was given 2 wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness (not heaven) to Her place, where she is nourished for a time, times and ½ a time from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water (ISAIAH 17:13 National armies) out of his mouth like a flood after the Woman that he might cause Her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the Woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the Woman and he went to make war with the rest of Her offspring, who keep the commandments of GOD and have the testimony of Jesus." (REVELATION 12:14 NKJV)

The Apostle John is ordered to take a census of who constitutes THE CHURCH or TEMPLE of GOD - right before THE GREAT TRIBULATION begins to determine what Christians are taken miraculously to a Place of Safety in the wilderness during this world crisis - and who is 'left behind' not having enough oil (Holy Spirit) in their lamps (MATTHEW 25:1-14). This is made clear by Daniel who describes a 2nd group of Saints subdued by the Beast atthe same timethe Church is protected in the wilderness:

"Then the saints (left behind) shall be given into his (Little Horn-Beast) hand for a time, and times and ½ a time." (DAN.7:25 NKJV) (REVELATION 12:14)

The next thing we read in chapter 11 of the book of Revelation, after John is told to measure the Temple - but to leave out the Court - which is trampled underfoot by the Gentile Beast - for 42 months is this:

"And I (YHVH) will give power to MY 2 Witnesses, and they will prophesy 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the 2 olive trees and the 2 lampstands(ZECHARIAH 4:11-14) standing before THE GOD of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, the Beast that descends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom & Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Jerusalem)." (REVELATION 11:3-8 NKJV)

The text goes on to talk about the celebrations that ensue over the death of the 2 Witnesses, their revival by YHVH, their ascension into heaven in the sight of their enemies, and the blowing of the 7th Trumpet accompanied by the announcement of the return of Christ, and His reign over all nations.

Who are these 2 Witnesses - and what is their testimony to the world?

Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi are 3 of the 'minor prophets' sent to give a message to those who return from Babylonian captivity to rebuild the Temple. So they would have prophesied in the time described by the books of Ezra & Nehemiah.

2 of the men among these returnees from Babylon to Jerusalem were Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the Governor of Judah (EZRA 1:1).

These men were leading the rebuilding of Solomon's temple, which hardly got underway before the people occupying the Land of Judaea during the 70 years Israel was absent - wrote to the King of Persia and obtained a 'cease & desist' letter from him.

So Joshua, Zerubbabel and the rest of the returnees ceased rebuilding and built their own houses instead. Almost 2 decades later, the prophets mentioned above were sent to light a fire under these men to begin rebuilding GOD'S HOUSE - which they did - and because of a letter from the King of Persia which they obtained - they finally finished the rebuilding of the Temple and its grounds.

But the prophet Zechariah also writes about a future rebuilding of a temple that these 2 men would beleading:

"Then he (an angel) showed me (Zechariah) Joshua the High Priest standing before the Angel of YHVH, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him... then the Angel of YHVH admonished Joshua, saying, 'If you will walk in MY ways, and if you will keep MY command, then you shall also judge MY HOUSE (future Church), and likewise have charge of MY courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here." (ZECHARIAH 3:1,6,7 NKJV)

"So he (the angel) answered and said to me: 'This is the word of YHVH to Zerubbabel: not by might nor by power, but by MY SPIRIT says YHVHof Hosts. 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth 'the capstone' (Christ - PSALM 118:22) with shouts of 'Grace, Grace to it!' Moreover the word of YHVH came to me, saying: The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall alsofinish it." (ZECHARIAH 4:6-9 NKJV)

"Then I answered and said to him (the angel), 'what are these 2 olive trees - at the right of the lampstand and at its left? ...So he said, 'These are the 2 Anointed Ones, who stand beside the Lord of all the earth.'" (ZECHARIAH 4:11,14 NKJV)

Clearly, these 2 men will be revived in the days leading up to Christ's return, to become the 2 Witnesses spoken of by John in REVELATION 11.

The prophet Haggai, also writes of this future role for Zerubbabel:

"Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, 'I will shake heaven & earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms (remember it is they who tread the Holy City underfoot for 42 months REV.11:2). I will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them; the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. 'IN THAT DAY,' says YHVH of HOSTS, 'I will take you, Zerubbabel MY servant, the son of Shealtiel,' says YHVH, and will make you like a signet ring (transfer of power & authority from a King to a regent, which is how he'll work miracles as 1 of 2 witnesses); for I have chosen you,' says, YHVH of HOSTS."

And what will the 2 WITNESSES TESTIMONY BE? The word of GOD! And those 'left behind,' the saints subdued by the Beast for 42 months, will wash their robes (REV.7:9-15) because of the testimony of the 2 WITNESSES - and represent Zerubbabel finishing THE TEMPLE of GOD!

Such prophecies are written to sober us into not letting our lamps run out of oil:

"Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of THE DAY of GOD...? (II PETER 3:11,12 NKJV)

Is the current leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ ? Does he rule the Church in Christ’s stead? ‘Vicar of Christ’ is a title many Popes have claimed down through the centuries – but does it have any Scriptural merit or backing?

The first recorded use of such title is in reference to Pope Gelasius I (492-496 A.D.) in Rome. But the concept of ‘someone taking the place of Christ as head of the Church’ seems to go back much further, to St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (108-140 A.D.). Ignatius referred to himself as Theophorus (God bearer), and wrote to the people he served that “your Bishop presides in the place of GOD.”

Did ALMIGHTY GOD intend for Church Leaders to preside in the place of HIS Son as Head of the Church?’ Are there any Biblical examples of GOD vicariously ruling people through another?

“Then YHVH said to Moses, ‘ See I have made you like GOD to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country.” (EXODUS 7:1,2 NIV)

“Go near (Moses) and listen to all that YHVH our GOD says.Then tell us whatever YHVH our GOD tells you. We will listen and obey.” (DEUTERONOMY 5:27 NIV)

And though YHVH has sent all HIS servants the prophets to you again and again , you have not listened or paid attention. They said, ‘Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land YHVH gave to you and your ancestors forever and ever. Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse MY anger with what your hands have made, then I will not harm you. But you did not listen to ME…” (JEREMIAH 25:4-7 NIV)

“See, I (YHVH) am sending an Angel ahead of you (Israel) to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.Pay attention to him and listen to what he says.Do not rebel against him;he will not forgive your rebellion, since MY NAME is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.” (EXODUS 23:20-22 NIV)

“I (YHVH) will raise up for them a prophet like you (Moses) from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put MY words in His (Jesus’) mouth. He will tell them everything I command Him. I MYSELF will call to account anyone who does not listen to MY words that the prophet speaks in MY NAME.” (DEUTERONOMY 18:18,19 NIV)

“For I (Jesus) have not spoken on My own authority;but THE FATHER who sent Me gave Me acommand, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that HIS command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak,just as THE FATHER has told Me, so I speak.” (JOHN 12:49,50 NKVJ)

The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat . So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” (MATTHEW 23:2,3 NIV)

For the one in authority is GOD’S servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are GOD’S servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (ROMANS 13:4 NIV)

Have confidence in your (spiritual) leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” (HEBREWS 13:17 NIV)

So back to our original question: Is Christ vicariously reigning over the Church through the Papacy as Catholics believe? Is it wrong for the Pope to bear the title of ‘Vicar of Christ?’ Not in the minds of those who follow him – in fact members of the Catholic Church would probably quote several of the texts we just cited above to show that there is Scriptural authority for this title and authority. After all, the Apostle Paul often spoke of being an agent or proxy of Christ:

“For I would have you know, brethren, thatthe gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (GALATIANS 1:11,12)

“If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by THE SPIRIT,let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.” (I CORINTHIANS 14:37 NIV)

Sounds a little like another Catholic doctrine: Papal Infallibility when speaking on matters of faith. Yet thousands of Protestant Church Leaders would beg to differ with many Papal decrees of faith.

How then does one ascertain which Christian Leaders speak for Christ or which Church Leaders Christ is speaking through to the world? After all,thousands of Church Leaders with conflicting messagesall claim to be speaking for Jesus!

Did you know that your Bible commands you to TEST everything that you hear? That it applauds those who TEST men who say they are Apostles and are not? Did you know that your Bible gives us ways to TEST those who say they are Prophets that GOD is vicariously speaking through? Well it does – and every Christian should be aware of such instruction so as not to be deceived by charlatans:

Do not treat prophecies with contempt but TEST them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.” (I THESSALONIANS 5:20-22 NIV)

“…When a Prophet speaks in THE NAME OF YHVH,if the thing does not happen or come topass, that is the thing which YHVH has not spoken; the Prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (DEUTERONOMY 18:22 NKJV)

“If there arises among you a Prophet or a ‘Dreamer of dreams,’ and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known – ‘and let us serve them,’you shall not listen to thewords of that Prophet or thatDreamer of dreams,’ for YHVH your GOD is TESTING you t o know whether you love YHVH your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul .” (DEUTERONOMY 13:1-3 NKJV)

To the Law and to the testimony! Ifthey do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (ISAIAH 8:20 NKJV)

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit,but TEST the spirits to see whether they are from GOD, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize THE SPIRIT of GOD: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from GOD , but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from GOD. This is the spirit of the Anti-Christ, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (I JOHN 4:1-3 NIV)

Who is a liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the Anti-Christ - denying THE FATHER and the Son.” (I JOHN 2:22 NIV)

“I (Jesus) know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, thatyou have TESTED those who claim to be Apostles, but are not, and have found them false.” (REVELATION 2:2 NIV)

“But I (Paul) am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes toyou and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached,or if you receive a different spiritfrom THE SPIRIT you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough…For such people are false Apostles,deceitful workers, masquerading as Apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (II CORINTHIANS 11:3,4, 13-15)

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness andexamined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (ACTS 17:11 NIV)

It’s clear from these and other Biblical texts that we all have the responsibility to TEST any message we hear from preachers & teachers to see whether it is Scriptural or not . And that the criteria we use to make such determinations is whether the individual speaks according to Scripture or Human reasoning and traditions.Church leaders must not supplant GOD’S authority,but rather act as surrogates of GOD’S will.

If we want GOD to speak vicariously through us, as faithful evangelists of HIS word, then we must:

Do your best to present yourself to GOD as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (II TIMOTHY 2:15 NIV)

I (prophet Balaam) could not go beyond the word of YHVH my GOD to do less or more .” (NUMBERS 22:18 NKJV)

“Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ (I CORINTHIANS 4:6 NIV)

The question every Christian needs to ask of their Church leaders is Are they going beyond what is written? If they are – then they are supplanting GOD’S authority. If they are not - then they are acting as conduits or conveyors of truth and being faithful surrogates of GOD’S authority.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (I CORINTHIANS 11:1 NKJV)

Therefore be imitators of GOD as dear children.” (EPHESIANS 5:1 NKJV)

As Christians we are allVicars of Christ’ as the Apostle Paul wrote, and Jesus Himself indicated:

“I (Paul) have been crucified with Christ;it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of GOD, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (GALATIANS 2:20 NKJV)

You will be brought before governors and kings for My (Jesus’) sake, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.” (MATHEW 10:18 NKJV)


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